The following poem was contributed by Jeremiah M. B. K. Mbonda, of Sierra Leone, after experiencing the ravages of the Ebola virus in his country. The poem provides insight into the psychosocial repercussions caused by the deadly virus. Read more about the psychosocial consequences of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in this issue of Coping with Crisis.
EBOLA POEM By Jeremiah M. B. K. Mbonda (“J.Boy”)
Nobody on the land, and nothing, nothing but Ebola.
The disaster everywhere.
Death without proper burial.
Devoid of custom and tradition
No palm greeting and body contact.
The sick denied hospitals.
No proper security.
Cases are adjourned.
Fear not to arrest.
Donors wave to the community,
Leading to low population and poverty.
What a catastrophe to a great nation.
Animals to bury humans.
And who are to eat animals?
Leaving fears and worries in others’ lives.
Oh where is mother, father and the rest?
Those who’re to cure us,
Are dying before us.
What would the nation be once people of custom and tradition, let it go away?
Oh let Ebola go away, death and woe always.
I think it is part of my heart.
But fear and sorrow is all.
Faces and body separate us over and over,
Oh God where are you? Your sons and daughters perishing,
Protection and guidance is yours.
Oh my people, prayer is all our concern,
But no individual preventions can help.
Too many wishes everywhere,
Wanting let it go.
Magic of death and let it fly away,
Everywhere, day and night.
It is a killer disease,
Above HIV and AIDS.
It has no way to be cured.
Only God knows the way for our survival.
But it is all about death.
For we are confused, confused of fear and worried.
Death and suffering always,
Let it go away.
Just like dropped leaves in the wind!