Amina Mussa, 30, 

I am a young woman and a mother 
but I feel old and scared

fled from the district of Macomia, 

my home

where she used to farm 
and sell her produce across the province. 

I would wake up at dawn 
Feed my smallest infant
The others still sleeping
Work the fields and lands
In the dust, in the stern sun
Until he nodded,
And ordered rest.

Along her four-day trek to safety, 

Is this safety? 
They will come for us here
As they came for us there
These wars of others,
Scars of nationhood

she buried two of her children. 

Not one, but two
From my belly,
From this world, to the next 

“They couldn’t stand the hunger, and died. » 

I heard their cries
Fearful at first, mamma, please
Then feeble,
Then nothing

“I had to bury them along the way,” 

I had to leave them, my babies
Too tiny, too ashen,
but too heavy in my arms

she said. 

She said: an interview,
A story, a paragraph, 
Just another conflict

“I covered them with branches

There was nothing else
with which to give them back

to God

and continued on. »

and continued on.