Vox Populi

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Susan Sailer: Dust, Blowing in the Wind

Into Newton’s laws of motion Boko Haram

storms, rifles smoking, kidnap 276 girls, force them

onto truck beds, tires raising red dust as they drive north.


The girls want to be teachers, nurses, doctors,

were taking the physics test to enter college.

How to tend goats, grind sorghum, they know,


want more.  In Sambisa Forest the soldiers

hold the girls, sell them as slaves for the bride

price of $12, kill them if they refuse. In the first week


57 escape, 4 die, 219 sit cross-legged in heavy burkas.

They sleep with rattlesnakes & scorpions, drink

thin soup, watch, dread-filled, as other girls


are dragged into the bush, dreams dry as the dust

blowing in their eyes. Three years pass.

The government frees 21 girls, then 82 more.


After thin soup, rattlesnakes, rape, what remains?

And 113 girls still missing.


Copyright 2018 Susan Sailer


“West African Girl” by Robert Moran

One comment on “Susan Sailer: Dust, Blowing in the Wind

  1. emilyhavis
    December 15, 2017

    Very emotive.


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