Poem: Children Locked Away

The world's insensitivity to Africa just stuns me and this poem comes out of that.

Children Locked Away

They grew up in my neighborhood,
    but I can’t say I knew them well
Beautiful young girls, young women now
    Libya with dark wide eyes,
    Algeria always smiling,
    Angola the shy one, suddenly gone
Remembering Namibia, slender and quiet,
    Somalia, who always knew my name,
    Namibia, the one who so loved flowers
    And Ghana, a child full of games
And Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, a blur
    of flashing eyes and giggled grins

Young women from different families
    a little Brit, a little French
    some Portuguese, perhaps a smudge
    of German and Italian
All dark skinned girls, the mix
    gave them a haunted, exotic beauty
I walked that way to share their childhood,
    the whole street brightened in a swirl
    of new dresses and girlish laughter
Yet they were serious as well, trusting
    as young girls will, on their way
    to becoming the loveliest of women

Now suddenly they’re gone from us, locked away
    into a dark house, it’s windows shuttered,
    unlit and decaying, a house called Africa
I walked their street for a while, looking,
    hoping they’d be out in sunshine
    to greet me, smile and dart away
I hear them scream from upstairs rooms,
    tear stained bloodied faces looking out,
    then curtains all snatched shut and darkness
I’d kick down the doors, excepting for the fear
    of the raped children I might find there
So I’ve forgot their names and walk another street
Poetry Collection: Broken Pieces
This poem is included in
Jim Freeman's
poetry collection
available here in print
or as an e-Book
in your favorite formats.