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Last Updated: 10/19/2004The Repeated Cry
Catherine Onekalit offers her latest prose-poem.
The Repeated Cry
by Catherine Onekalit
It was around four O clock in the morning; I was in a deep sleep, not having a care in the world of how hard the Okolo (Papyrus Mat) felt on my back. I was trying to recover from the tiresome long day of gardening that plays a mountain on fending for the family. Whilst in my sleep I heard a loud squeak then a silent bang, thinking it was a dream, I whispered to my husband Kom Bede Ku (Not now please). I started hearing some sort of wailing then I thought some kind of mourning, like a life was being taken. I was so knackered, without a thought I strolled to the sitting area with an ooze of confidence, lazily turning around the corner, I then saw them, dreadlocked, young and thirsty for blood. The sight, ---- blood dripping from the bayonet , I froze, then screamed and fainted.
this entire bizarre episode, the reality begun to sink in, that was my son being
killed by his own cousin, yes his own cousin, the same blood flowing through
their veins. These were not children I thought, these are killing machines
indoctrinated to kill without fear. They have no shred of humanity left in them,
or do they? While listening to her narrate her story, tears of pain rolled out
of my eyes, I recalled what I would rather not talk about. Such experiences are
day to day realities of persons living in
Listening to this strong woman s
narration, within minutes I felt my vision blur, I was definitely in another
world. Hearing her story I could not hold the pain. I thought I was not hearing
right. It was like the killers (Children) were right there and I was witnessing
what she witnessed. I reached for the next weapon that I could get hands on and
threw it ferociously at them. A mass of smoke appeared. Was I doing this, no,
no, no, this is a dream .. Writing
about the initiation of children into active combat is a reality that was beyond
comprehension. When I review the facts on board I ask my self, where were we
when all this was happening or is still happening? Enjoying the night life of
the capital city
The war zone is a reality that should not be experienced by anyone. I dream of a day when all these children will play football or play with baby dolls like all their counter parts in different parts of the world. The comfort I get is the strong belief and faith that I have. I know that not too long, there will be borne a song of peace right in the heart of my beautiful home land.
Catherine Onekalit, from Uganda, graduated recently at the University for Peace.