Somewhere in the dry land of Tigray, Between Tekeze and Gash rivers, A teenage girl screams in fear, Young body, young soul is torn like mesh. Dressed as a soldier, a man at the door. Salivating like a vicious dog. He brutally drags her on the floor. Puts a gun between the innocent bosoms. Gun barrel in her mouth stops the scream. Arms pinned to the floor with knees Her body convulsing, fighting the beast. On her back, she defends her belly from the violent sleaze. Blow in the head, kiss with a fist numbed young physique in an instance A lifeless body, the mind is in a drift, Slips into silence and breaks resistance. A child’s cry vibrates in echo; “Tesfa me elash, tesfa me elash” Stuck on the peaks of Gheralta and Aleje- Cries “tesfa me elash, tesfa me elash.” Deqi ansteyo cloaks under netsela Hides bleeding wounds and torn soul. Searching to heal her little body In the field of sorghum that grew tall. Deqi ansteyo, hands in a prayer. With the eyes of an infant, looking up in the sky, Tearfully whispers, “goytayey adheneni, Take me with you and let my soul fly”.
In Tigrigna language – English translation Yeakel - enough Tesfa me elash – as searching for hope Deqi ansteyo - teenage girl Netsela – female head covering or a scarf Goytayey adheneni – save me Lord/save me God This poem was inspired by the story from my dear friend, Biniam. He is from Tigray, Northern Ethiopia and has shared with me about the atrocities of the current war where Ethiopian and Eritrean governments are waging against its own citizens. This war has been well documented by the BBC and other news organizations.