Thinking of Independence

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Poem By Dr. Sulayman Njie 

Thinking of independence

of my own lineage

my old man

Of Mam Hara

my Grandpa Madun

of Mam Maget

And Mam Sabel

I think of the passage of time

I think of the folks who we lost along the way

I think of the fleeting concept that’s life, its brevity, its fragility

I think of time, man’s nemesis, eventually taking its toll on all of us

I’m nostalgic, the mind is casting back on when it was a kid

I wonder what the kids do nowadays on Independence Day

I think of Serekunda School, the uniforms, the rehearsals

I think of the “For The Gambias”

I think of the “DK Sabaris”

I think of the colorful costumes

I think of the choreographed marches, the pageantry

I think of the old neighborhood

I think of how helpless, crushing, and dehumanizing poverty is

I think of Ala and Dave trekking the Sahara, braving the waters, staggering into new lands

I think of the old country

I wonder if the old country would ever be truly independent

I wonder what is to become of my people

I’m thinking, I’m wondering

If Independence is just another metaphor,

If it’s just an idea,

If it’s just a journey, not a destination

I’m still wondering, I’m still thinking

Thinking of Independence

— By Sulayman Njie

Dallas, Texas

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