Poem Dedicated to the Kidnapped Girls in Nigeria: The Sound of Silence, by Jenean C. Gilstrap

Poem Dedicated to the Kidnapped Girls in Nigeria: The Sound of Silence, by Jenean C. Gilstrap
Jenean C Gilstrap
First Lady Michelle Obama holding a sign with the hashtag "#bringbackourgirls" in support of the 2014 Chibok kidnapping. Posted to the FLOTUS Twitter account on May 7, 2014.

First Lady Michelle Obama holding a sign with the hashtag “#bringbackourgirls” in support of the 2014 Chibok kidnapping. Posted to the FLOTUS Twitter account on May 7, 2014.

Several weeks ago, hundreds of young Nigerian school girls were kidnapped at gunpoint from their boarding school in Chibok by what is believed to be the Islamic extremist group called Boko Haram. While the Nigerian military has failed to find these kidnapped victims, their abduction and fate have at last garnered the world-wide attention and outrage deserved. From Nigeria and around the globe, voices of outrage now ring rampant to BRING BACK OUR GIRLS…
It takes a village to raise a child. It may take the world to save these children [and others who are also sadly in this situation]. These are our children, as well – our daughters – our sisters – our cousins. This poem is dedicated to them and to their families who await their return.

the sound of silence…

sounds of gunfire
split the rising sun
masked men in black
like vultures swoop in
holding their prey
in a vicious attack

bring back our daughters
bring back our sisters

little girls little girls
your laughter now cries
truckloads of childhood
loaded and tied
into the jungle
innocence lost right
where it stood

little girls little girls
where have you gone
school rooms
now barren and blue
now empty without you

little girls little girls
what have they done

little girls little girls
classrooms sit
empty and quiet
desks leaking
their secrets onto
the silent floor
never no more speaking

little girls little girls
where o where
have they taken you

little girls little girls
mothers and fathers
await your return
they never dreamed
you were not safe
in the place where
you learned

little girls little girls
what have they done

where o where
have they taken you

outrage reigns supreme
and voices ring
round the globe
against those who
dare squander
their little girl dreams

bring back our sisters
bring back our daughters

little girls little girls
stay your ground
sing your sweet songs
round and round
justice is yours
freedom will come
we promise we promise
you will be found


View Comments (7)
  • it’s an honor to have my words shared in Yareah every week! many thanks and much gratitude!

    • Thanks to you, Jenean. It’s so tragic what is happening in Nigeria! Our hearts are with these girls. Beautiful work!

      • Walter Dain

        Jenean is an accomplished poet. Always a joy to read her work. The Nigerian girls are our sisters too. Most men I know are outraged at the insanity and criminality of their kidnap. The question is: how are we going to ensure that these girls can move forward after they have been Rescued?

        • walter – i am so humbled by your kind words and i thank you – and you’re right that there remains the issue now of restoring these young girls once they are returned home – my heart goes out to them and their families during these horrific times –

  • A beautiful tribute to just one of the many tragedies unfolding in Nigeria and elsewhere. I have shared this with my Nigeria followers as well as others. I know they will think it’s as beautiful as I do.

    (Please consider adding Share Buttons at the top and/or bottom of each post as it will allow the reader to share more easily.)

    • lisa – many thanks for the comment and especially for sharing – hopefully the last lines of the poem will come to pass and these young girls will be found – and you’re right: sadly, there are many such horrific acts unfolding round the globe on a daily basis – in the meantime, the world watches and waits for the return of these children…

  • Hello, Lisa. I’m Martin. Thanks for the comment and I promise I will do it tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for coming. Have a nice day

Jenean C Gilstrap

Since childhood, Ms. Gilstrap has had a love of words-of writing and other arts. An individualist, she chooses not to follow any pre-conceived pattern for the outlay of these words – rather, she allows them the freedom to forge their own path as they make their way from her heart to pen to paper. Her art work involves both photography and mixed media on large canvasses. She is a weekly featured poet in Yareah Magazine where her works have appeared for more than a year. Her piece The Granite God was the winning poem in Painted Bride Quarterly Sidebar #12 [2012]. Her work has been featured in performance poetry theatrical productions in Louisiana and her short story, Retribution, published in the Helicon Literary Magazine there. She and her gypsywomanworld blog are included as character/story elements in Ghost Key, the fictional work of award-winning author Trish MacGregor. Her first volume of poetry [2013], words unspoken, is available in both paperback and on kindle at amazon. She currently divides her time between her home in Louisiana and the east coast as she completes her second volume of poetry to be published in 2013.

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