Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)


Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)


Article excerpt

now that the guns are silent

now that the rains have beaten the blood

into the soil that nurtures our food

now that children are orphaned

now that wives are widowed

now that men whose mind have been destroyed

return with limbs missing

eyes glazed over

thoughts erratic

now that cousins have forgiven cousins

and brothers are shaking hands

now that women are strolling in the market

and stopping to talk and laugh with each other

now that buildings have been destroyed

and whole lives made empty

now that what was is no longer

and what could have been requires a miracle

now that our eyes are no longer blurry

and we cannot remember why we were

fighting in the first place

now that forgetting will take several generations

and memory must be constant as breath

now that we have a chance to change

the future and treat the past as a persistent sore

now that we have to think out of the box

and spell conflict as lack of trust

the ego running on its own course

now that we understand fear and love

in a different light and appreciate the cost

now that a woman can dream again

of having her son in her old age

now that a man can smile at the idea

of reaching to enfold his wife with his arthritics hands

now that we are truly ready hopefully

to sit at the table and listen with our hearts

and the lives of our children

now that

now that

now that

now when we must stare into each other's eyes

now when we must massage each other's soul

now when we must learn the abc of forgiveness

now when we must actively practice love

practice love

practice love

until it guides our feet to dancing

until it pumices away our anger

until it lights the lamp of our generosity

until it raises our arms in flight

until it washes us with joy

now that we know love

now that love enfolds us

now that we are love

now finally


now we are human beings again

-Opal Palmer Adisa

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