Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Naming of HIV

The Naming of HIV

We are required to give you a name
So speak up Kitikrata
Or are you Sonponno?
We are hard pressed to assign you a place
As spirit of air or water or immovable rock
We have asked the carver to make you a mask
And to dress you up in raffia skirt and beaded ankle rings
The song-makers are lost for words
Overwhelmed by inspiration for soulful melodies
At your parade we walk before you
And iron strikes stone at the midnight hour
Ears close to terror
Eyes shut to the wasting of fragile bodies
And the paper thin coffins we carry on our heads
Look and be cursed we call out before you
And mothers cover the eyes of the children
Before they can peek on approaching doom
Sonponno dies Kitikrata lives
What shall we call you?
The talking-drum speaks to those with ears
And strangers dance in your famed masquerades

by Adwoa Badoe


Janet said...

You are so right. It is frightening when cures for such destructive diseases like HIV/AIDS remain elusive. We pray in our life time we will celebrate the demise of this disease. In the meantime education on how to live with, cope and manage this fast and widespreading seeming scourge on humanity is extremely neccessary. It is made bearable by artistry such as yours. Beautiful poem. By the way Cuz, you look hot in the picture.

KWAME.B said...