This is no curse by the crossed-eyed old woman
with one tooth living in your father’s village
Nor is it an illness that the virgin blood of a
young girl just starting to live her life can cure.
A mother weeps everyday for that lost child,
covering her graying head with the garment of shame.
Mourning a beloved life cut short in its prime as she
sits in an empty house rattling with painful memories.
But shame brings silence and silence only sure death.
For in error, we waste important moments needed to talk
with loved ones about getting help and continue
to bury our dead under the guise of falsehood.
How many more loved ones are we each
prepared to lose before we would stand as one
and dare to unveil in public and private places,
this fierce giant masquerade called AIDS.
Unveiling a roving spirit that has kept us captive,
while the young and old lay dying across our lands.
Standing up and shouting painful secrets in the hope
that others may hear our stories and live.
Yejide Kilanko © 2011