Cry not Mama

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the April 10th 2000 student massacre that took place in the Gambia. Alpha Robinson wrote a powerful poem in the heydays of that senseless human tragedy. In memory of all those students who paid the ultimate price, here is Alpha Robinson’s timeless poem:

Cry not Mama
Trying to make sense
Out of the senseless
Turning around in circles
Sleepless and restless
Trying to feel your pain

Mothers and fathers of the martyrs
Young lives taken away
From earth to earth
Living in our hearts
Forever Forever and Forever

Mothers we mourn by your side
You have carried that baby for eight months
The ninth month demanding your breath
The joy you felt after the birth pains
Hoping and dreaming
That your baby will one day be someone

You gave that baby solid food and love
Toiling under the sun
Nothing you would not do
To give that child a future

Fathers we mourn by your side
You work this earth with bare feet
You deny yourself pleasures
To give that child a future
How anxious you were
Waiting to hear from the maternity ward
Or was it from the home
News about your baby

You two took that child to school
With high expectations
To acquire knowledge
For a better future

Then came the gunman
The neighbour’s child he was
No stranger to you
He calls you mother and father
Yet he turned that gun on your children
And took them away from you
Forever Forever and Forever

But cry not Mama
That child is in eternal peace

How can I tell you
How can I make you understand
That your pain is not in vain
That your pain is mine

Some give their lives for others
In their own way
And live forever

Look at me Mama
I am your child
For what your child died for
Will live in me forever
So they all live in me Mama
All those courageous children
And I am not alone Mama
We are all your children

As you dry your tears
Gripped by grief
Your legs feeling numb and heavy
Trying to make sense out of the senseless
Seek consolation in us
We who will carry your child in us
Until we take our last breath

No they did not die in vain!
For what they died for
Cannot be killed Mama
Justice must come
Freedom must come
A new Gambia will be born
It’s only a matter of time
By Alpha Robinson

May their souls continue to rest in eternal bliss.
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