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Fiction by Norwegian Women

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sea Breeze: A Journal of Contemporary Liberian Writings

Sea Breeze; A Journal of Contemporary Liberian Writings is another gem of online publications. As its name indicates, it is a journal that addresses the concerns of Liberia and its Diaspora.

My poem, Deliver Me From the Hands of Strange Children, first appeared in Sea Breeze.

Please take time to discover a wonderful and needed journal. Here's the link.

Deliver Me From The Hands of Strange Children
By Octavia McBride-Ahebee

On the Day of the Dead,
On the day we plead on their behalf,
he *naked me,
stripped my body
in front of carved saints, elegantly stoic
cloistered in their own uselessness
he naked me
in front of bands of soldier boys, spellbound and spoiled,
wearing their sisters’ dresses and their mothers’ wigs
their necks encased in feather boas and forest paint
their waists jeweled with the feces of Cold War arsenals

in a church garden wild with perfume
under a bush plum tree
the kind we make our Christmas pudding from
he naked me
he naked me
as I quietly pleaded to the holy queen
as he told me her ears were stuffed with cassava leaves
and her son’s many failures
as he pissed his discontent in my face

he laid me beneath a neighboring mango tree
magnificent in its promise to shield
and he used a bayonet like a crochet hook
pushing through my vagina
in search of hidden bounty
in search of buried cell phones and soiled cash
pulling from its walls only prayer beads
christened by frightened menses
for such a gross disappointment
he placed mary’s head
machete-sharpened and faceless
in there instead

*Naked, used as a verb, is a Liberian description of the military tactic employed by boy soldiers in which they stripped civilians, particularly women, of their clothing as a means of humiliation.

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