Saturday, May 15, 2004

Poem # 5 for Dr. Kihoro

Poem # 5: For Wanjiru Kihoro

i am not religious
so i will not pray for you
but, now, as you lay
precariously in a worrying coma
all my thoughts are with you and with your family
even though i am not there
i agonize and fret at the possibility
of worse news than what we already know about your plight
we cross our fingers
hoping the fighter in you
will pull through
like you always have after other ordeals and calamities
no monday morning quarterbacking from these northern quarters on this sunday morning no idle and needless speculation about why you were in that fateful plane in the first place no cursing and swearing wondering why it had to be you
it really does not matter
what is crucial is to remember that you were once again
in the thick of things
this time celebrating a democratic victory
that you and i and many others like us
spent decades dreaming and planning for
what is crucial is to remember
that even though your name is once again stuck in the grey shadows away from the bright limelight extolling the virtues of departed luminaries from the same crash even though you are hardly mentioned we know that without you and many others like you there would be no luminaries going anywhere to celebrate anything
sister comrade i still remember
that even before i met you face to face
i knew who you were
from the indefatigable campaign
you and the comrades
in the london committee
for the release of political prisoners in kenya
did in agitating for our release when we were quarantined in the dungeons of kamiti by the kanu thugs sister comrade i still remember your work with ukenya and umoja and your energy in attempting to unite kenyan progressives and revolutionaries sister comrade we all know how you had to go through personal hell in fighting tooth and claw for the release of comrade wanyiri while working twenty-four seven to put food on the table for your kids sister comrade i am sure that by your side are dozens of old and new compatriots and comrades sister comrade i am sure you know that all of us are by your side even though we are separated by vast oceans and humungous time zones you know, where you lay breathing and struggling like you always have you know that all your comrades are with you urging you to hang tight to keep up the fight to live to fight another day sister comrade i would be a liar if i did not admit my worry and my fright that we might lose you, one of our valuable fighters to a freak happening so untimely as a flight gone awry my fright, my fear keeps me up even as i know you would probably say don't cry for me, i'll be alright and if something happens, it happens because we have seen comrades sacrifice all in the quest for a new dawn comrade sister i recently met your articulate daughter-virtually and marvelled that the child prodigy who wowed us with her poem for her famous incarcerated dad is now a woman in her own right claiming her own space and felt proud that at least part of who she is
had a lot to do with the work you put in all those dark years when we were marginalized and reviled by the forces of evil comrade sister i wish you a speedy and swift recovery i long to hear your strong and familiar voice chatting seriously across the atlantic comrade sister hold on tight we are not about to give up on you just yet.....
onyango oloo
sunday, 10:21 am january 26th, 2003