Quilt’s Corner

Raise a gin bottle, for this story is true

About a child soldier, he’s a person, too

But he is a boy with no name, he’s a number instead

497K carved with a blade on his head

Rocket propelled grenades strapped to his back

Feed him cocaine ’til his world fades to black

An amphetamine demon awakens from deep within

The devil himself crawls beneath his scarred skin

He knows no English, barely knows his native Krio

Obliged to fight the Diamond War of Sierra Leone

He can recognize the pitter pat-pat of an AK-47

He has experienced so much, yet he is only eleven

But he kills because it is all that he knows

Forced to commit atrocities by the white dust in his nose

Kill, Beat, Maim is embedded in his brain

‘Mercy to no one’ was how he was trained

He watches Rambo films, to desensitize his soul

His heart ceases to exist, it’s replaced by cold

He sometimes dreams of his mother’s reassuring voice

But he was kidnapped by rebels, he had no choice

He had to prove himself worthy, show he was a man

But what they made him do, no real man can

He watched the bullet pierce his mother, and tears streamed from his eyes

He would no longer go to sleep to her sweet lullabies

He was forced, FORCED by the rebels and the drugs

FORCED to shoot his mother, with whom he shared blood

He is caged up. Surrounded. Bars all around

This boy represents the irony of ‘Free’town

A youngster with the weight of a divided land on his shoulders


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