The Spark

Mary’s Story or, The day Kony Came

Mary’s Story or, The Day Kony Came
Georgia Baddley, BeadforLife Community Partner

This poem is dedicated to the women of Uganda and the staff and volunteers of BeadforLife.

From Kampala we went
into the bush
off the main Orum road
deep into Otuke
in a safari van
on a narrow goat path

into the bush

to the tidy dirt compound
with huts of clay
and straw bricks
to meet Mary
to hear her story.

Sitting under a mango tree
Mary told her story
weariness draped like a shawl
pressing her down
fingers gripping her chair

Mary told her story

pain in her eyes
speaking resolutely of
unspeakable horrors
Mary told her story.

The day of her abduction
she hoed cassava
singing smiling
Anders in her belly
seven months
kicked hard

and Kony came

she couldn’t flee
she walked too slow
her family there
she had to stay
and Kony came.

Kony’s men
pillaged her family farm
beheaded her father-in-law
a gun pointed at her
seventy-kilo bag on her head
Mary forced to walk

the day Kony came

she saw her sister-in-law’s body
she couldn’t rest
resters macheted to death
Mary forced to walk

the day Kony came

she jumped a ditch

she couldn’t fall
or the machetes would get her
on and on sixteen kilometers
the world’s woes on her head
Mary forced to walk
the day Kony came.

Nightfall in camp
far from her family farm
more captives came
chaos and confusion

Mary fled

soldiers hunted her
in the blackness she hid
like a drum her heart
beat in fear

Mary fled

she ran and hid like a hare
through the night
for twenty kilometers
Mary fled
reaching safety in the refugee camp
the day after Kony came.

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