His innocence was rudely taken away
When they came for him
“Take that traitor!” orders were yelled
Memories were still fresh in his mind
As they dragged father by the neck
Mother yelled holding onto him begging
His two sisters woke up and began to shout in tears
Nobody heard the commotion

Or were they all silenced by their fears
Everything seemed to go in slow motion
His eyes seemed glued open as he watched
Father was shot
Mother took bullets that were meant for his last born sister
His first born sister collapsed in front of him
Trying to beg for freedom
It was so cold
His body was so cold
He couldn’t muster the strength to force tears out
He was just nine
Gravity seemed to be rejecting him
No he was being shoved over a man’s shoulder
Upside down he watched him house burn
His village brought to ashes
Why? What? How? When? Where? Who?
His young mind had no answers
Tears had forcefully dried because there was none
He wasn’t allowed to grieve
Emotions meant death or pain or disfigurement
Two years on his heart had grown stone cold
He never talked
He never blinked
He never laughed
He never cried
Scars had made him that way
He only followed orders
Nothing fazed him anymore he only reacted
Physical scars seemed to have cemented the emotional scars in
That was a hole he dared not fall into
“I’m a soldier sir!” only words he chanted for command
He heard them coming
Old memories creeped up
He immediately shut them down without a breath
Clutching the weapon he aimed to shoot
“We’re here to rescue you. We come in peace”
Words unfamiliar to him, peace was never an option at war
Bullets started flying
He was on the ground
Consciousness slipped away from him
I can only imagine what he went through
He looks so hardened with scars
No child should experience war, his innocence was robbed
Those two voices told him he wasn’t dead
Even death rejected him, he winced the pain away
Voices seemed to be floating around him
Sleep, sleep that he escaped from found him without a fight
Sleep child you are safe now

Copyright September 2015

Mulunga Alukwe


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