If Happiness Were a Nightmare


If Happiness Were a Nightmare

The stars gaze down upon him

His eyes stare back in a mutual relationship

Sleep no longer grants him rest

Instead, it punches him with dreams that consist mostly of memories

Memories of happiness

When he awakes, he remembers

He remembers that his family, innocence, childhood, and happiness were murdered

The rebels set them into a blaze that sent him running


Sierra Leon is no longer his home;

It is the place he is imprisoned to

He is prey

Prey to corruption and murder


He is handed a familiar object

An object that has torn his life and the country apart

Finally, he can observe his tormentor up close

He is now the one who makes the decisions

The gun is nestled in his hands

Cherished like an infant


"Shoot it"

The man speaking is the only adult he has seen in weeks

The last ounce of innocence in his eleven year old body cries

Cries louder than the stranger who is his target

The AK 47 kisses his cheek

He stares at the teary brown eyes of the stranger

And remembers why he can no longer cry

His mouth ajar, he sucks in some air

He flicks his finger, the decisions maker


He watches the nameless body hit the ground

And feels nothing

He is immune to death

So, he joined forces with it


His army consists of no one over the age of seventeen

They do drugs together

They kill together


He is dead on the inside

Yet, the world continues to spin

Madly on


As for me, I sit at home

On my front porch with a cup of tea

Ignorant to the child soldiers'  pleas for help

Ignorant to the civilians whose homes are being set on fire

Who are killed to satisfy death's cravings.


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