Beloved – Improv on Song of Solomon for the Daughters of Nigeria

You are dark and beautiful
and stolen,
O daughters of Nigeria –
beloved of your mothers and fathers,
beloved of this great nation
which has drawn together
so many people,
beloved of Allah and Jesus Christ,
beloved of the spirits
of your ancestors
beloved of all the world.

Look, we long to say –
there you are
bounding over the mountains
running through the rainforests,
coming home out of Chad,
out of Cameroon,
dressed in buba and iro, kaba, ipele,
in gele — all bright
with the colors of your joy,

not robed in gray,
not huddled beneath the tree,
holy words twisted into words of fear.

Many tears cannot quench hope
nor politics drown it.
You are worth the exchange of prisoners;
you are precious beyond gold or oil.

Make haste, beloved daughters,
let us hear your voices
sweet with education,
voices of doctors and teachers,
of scientists and artists to be.

Awake, O north wind and, come
O south wind,
that we may see the eyes
of the daughters of Nigeria
bright with wisdom
piercing the future for us all.

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3 Responses to Beloved – Improv on Song of Solomon for the Daughters of Nigeria

  1. Thank you for this, a beautiful, anguished, loving response to this tragedy that has seized us all. My fears are many here, and among them is the fear that these young women, if rescued, can never recover from the shadow of this. Some will stay in the grip of the gray terror gods they have been forced to honor. Some will return, but without the hope they had. Some will fight and lose their ability to trust, some will succumb to the message they are nothing. I hope these fears are wrong. And wish the world’s dialogue held more words from religious leaders about all our fears.

    • marge says:

      For Nancy: ‘loved your respnse to the words expressed in Maren’s hope-filled response to the Nigerian kidnapping –
      As to our fears I hold to the truth found in scripture, “Love casts out fear”

    • Maren says:

      You are so right, Nancy, and the more days that pass, the more damage done. And surely it is true that finding and killing Osama bin Laden is still more important to some that finding and saving these girls.

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