Poem: A Requiem: for Mabinty and Baby X

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By Saidu Bangura, Praia

And Mabinty died
with her unborn baby
not in a maternity ward
not in labour as women
sometimes die in this land
where life is not promised,
where life is not protected;
she died in police custody
with shocks all over her body
protecting her business money
protesting for her dear life
and her gestating Baby X
not allowed to be born
not to be delivered alive

And Mabinty died
and with her Baby X
this time not through bullets
like the inmates of Pademba
expecting to be protected
by those we pay to protect
by those we hope will protect
our dear lives and property,
but she died trying to protect
herself, and to save Baby X,
her gestating future child,
whose lifeline was cut short
when Mabinty became lifeless

And Mabinty painfully died
with her gestating Baby X
not protected amid her loud cries
of pains to save her gestation,
crying for her gestating Baby X –
Mabinty died amid loud cries of
“Ar geh belleh”, “Ar dey feel bad”
– loud cries that fell on deaf ears!

And Mabinty and Baby X died
not through bullets from the same
police that killed other people
in their verandas and some others
while walking to work hoping
to be protected by a police force that
should protect our lives and property

And Mabinty and Baby X died,
this time not through bullets,
she died trying to protect herself
she died trying to protect Baby X,
her four months gestating child,
her would have been lovely child,
had she not been visited violently
by a brutal group in uniforms
paid for by the sweat of the people

How many more Mabintys must die
how many more Baby Xs must die
in the wombs of too many Mabintys
for us to have a Police Force for Good?

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