Moving A Country

by Brian Honigman    /  October 8, 2010  / No comments

Moving A Country

Move the evergreen trees
Meandering rivers
Lakes and seas
Wild and domestic animals
Birds of all sizes
Pack them all up
Place in the suitcase of my brain

***

Leave behind the soldiers
Covered in old sacks
Or place them on the tip of
My foot – then I’ll
Kick them into the deep blue sea
So my head can’t remember
And my heart can’t bleed
And the dark memories
Can fade slowly away…

***

I ran out of the house
Without packing anything
Even my sanity
How can a country I called home
Became a butcher’s den
And my bed a foreigner’s heaven!

***

I walk through fire
And find no water to cool
My burning heart
Only the distant memories
Fond memories of my youth
And the good old days…
I search my head and heart
But the huge dark
Memories planted in my brain remain
I will treasure the good ones
And loathe the bad ones!

Jade Amoli-Jackson fled Uganda nine years ago. Staunchly opposed to the guerrilla warfare that was claiming the lives of her fellow country-folk, Jade helped many desperate families flee the country.

In 1991, Jade’s own life began to unravel. Her husband was abducted and murdered by the military and just weeks after identifying her husband’s dismembered body, Jade’s twin sister and her father were killed as Museveni‘s men descended on the family’s farm to seize their property in the ongoing power struggle.

Scrambling together her three children, Jade fled to northern Uganda. The family lived in relative safety until 2001, when Jade returned home from work to be confronted with the sickening news that the village had been attacked and her children had been abducted. Desperate and distraught, Jade sought refuge in a neighbouring village and it was not long before that too was destroyed and the villagers captured.

For two days, Jade was marched barefoot into a secluded jungle enclave where she was to spend the next few months enslaved in impoverished conditions, confronted daily by death, rape and starvation.

Jade considers herself fortunate to have escaped, and though the loss of her children haunts her still, she has slowly managed to rebuild her life. Her prose and poetry, which chronicles her experiences both in Uganda and her reflections on life in the UK, has earned her praise at literary festivals up and down the country which she has attended with other Medical Foundation clients.

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