For Kenneth Akena

Today I walked through Kitgum town,
Saw someone wearing one of those,
Well fitted T-shirts calling for justice on your behalf.
I thought alot about you,
How you loved to fool around and play
In the outskirts of Kitgum town,
I recalled how the hawkers called you their own,
How they gave me a hard time when I came to pick you.

I found myself smiling. Even though deep inside,
I felt like I was dying, a lonely tear dared to desert my eyes,

In mimicry, another one escaped.

Again another one left.

It ran faster than all the others before it.
A few minutes later, others deserted too,
I was helpless, I know it seems careless of me, but I couldn’t keep my tears locked up safely.

I went down Memory Lane and drew a mental picture of you hiding from me,
frightened that I would punish you for stealing sugar,
My mind raced to another memory, more recent, more vivid. Two years ago,
You bigger, you excited over the big news,
A grandson for me and a heir for you,
A “win win” it was, we were all happy,
I felt old as you introduced me to him.
The little mischievous brat smiled at me in agreement, I pinched his nose like I used to do with you, he laughed, you laughed, none of us thought it would be this soon.
We didn’t think death would claim you as his groom, this soon.

Nor did we think they would forget you this soon,
That justice would trot at the pace of a lame tortoise,
We thought you would be appeased even in death,
Knowing that the due process of the law was observed,
Even when the politicians made it tribal,
I kept my silence. Held no grudges against your killer. Or his family.
When they came for “Culu kwor” we accepted them.
All we really wanted, was justice.

Two years later I still hold onto that grain of hope,
Pray everyday that while the world forgets you,
And the earth continues to rotate,
The one who created it doesn’t,
I hope that no mother never goes through my plight,
I pray for peace, I demand justice,

I hope for a better country, I yearn to be safe in it,
Along with my loved ones, friends, family and even my neighbors,
I pray for justice, because revenge is overrated.


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