A Poem of Remembrance There’s something telling me to begin this poem with a mutual feeling of the pain of the maidens snatched away from the protective wings of their mothers the way a hawk takes life away from chicks, away from mother hens. Let it be known that a poet rebelled against her muse to birth a poem as a remembrance of the stolen girls. I cannot say I know the measure of agony sealed in their body because nothing defines pain better than pain itself. On some days, I asked what had happened to us. We were once monks who pitched tenth before God, our hands always in friction, making supplications – asking for mercy upon those stolen, invoking safety on those in the jungle of carnivores, pleading the heavens open its ears and gives forth sunlight as heralds of a new dawn, a new hope, and a virgin smile. We once await their becoming waters flowing back to their homes. We were once the mouthpiece of those whose heartbeats sound fear into a coded rhythm of death. They know the passing of flies across their heads as the odour of their remains, decaying even before death comes. They do not know who the wild dogs will eat next for dinner. Every smell of dusk is a canvass of their body in wryness. One of these maidens could be me, or my sister – the reason I call to mind the memories you’ve thrown into a dark deep hole.