The Rebel fell

THE REBEL FELL

Somewhere a bullet pierces a woman,
Beyond the reaped edges of her clan’s farmland.
She gets caught in a thicket whose thorns she does not feel,
Limp feet drag onto a tree whose name the woman does not know
With the sun at her back,
Here breaks the charm for luck.
Off her neck are the fetishes
From the sacrificial white hen, herb and hallowed water
To the bosom of the waiting earth.

The woman slumps, face down-
Watching her life drain away
Now the stained soil seeps from her lips;
Heavily the grain is still in the sack-
drawn to the feast a fly lands on her lips.
The light dips lower as the last sounds
Mute in the darkness, still she droops lower
into a night without mourning.

About her who fell unceremoniously
One day someday shall write;
No rock or wood marks the grave
Of these bleached broad bones
Save for a clump of wild sorghum
Hailing her lost name
By Sophie Brenda Alal

This poem won third prize in the first ever Beverley Nambozo Poetry Award in 2009, the first poetry award of its kind for Ugandan women. Sophie won 100 USD.

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