The Moonlit Trench
we saw the dark moon rise, and hid
behind the deep trench, me and the people
I call my own. we know there is dirt, but
there is also grit; a brother stirring a bowl
of soaked garri so it isn’t overrun by dryness,
& passing around after lifting a spoon
of unsugared sustenance
passing around also a joke because humor is a sweetener
& the laughter we share even with the ones
whose voices have been extirpated
is eternal. I promise
there are many ways to honor the dead,
silence is not one of them:
when a sweet mother falls to this bitter gravity
that is my country, I swear
it is not the silence of her precious child
that she wants to hear, but their cackle & cheer.
& our women & men who wielded flaming flags
of freedom & fell to the gravity of gunfire?
it is also not our silence that will honor them
but our noise, our chorus of defiance,
our chantmanship, our campfire music,
our feet beating the earth in glorious dance,
our rigorous un-silence.
for this dark moon too shall pass,
into phases, and when it wanes we will not forget
the mercy of the trenches that saved us;
we will not forget the mercy of unsugared garri.