Still Missing

A #Bringbackourgirls sign. Photo by Erica Howes.

A #Bringbackourgirls sign. Photo by Erica Howes.

By: ERICA HOWES 300 Nigerian school girls were kidnapped, Headlines shook the world and twitter hashtags littered our screens. But one month later, It’s not newsworthy anymore. It can only be trending for so long, before people forget or wish too much that they could. Although 300 girls are still missing, A news story cannot use the world “still.” Sometimes the worst news of all, is that nothing has changed.

You can feel lost in your own country.
At school, the lost and found was always run by the teacher
But when teachers are dealt with legislation lined with corruption
And governments with heads too big and eyes too small to see their own children,
It’s a lot harder to be found.

Do you remember the last time a child went missing in our country?
The police investigations, the amber alerts blaring from screens, mouths, papers.
It didn’t stop until she was found.
It couldn’t stop until she was found.

Now, it seems as if the cries of 300 girls are like falling leaves during summer,
silent and only noticeable to those who know where to look.
There’s nowhere to look for updates,
#Bringbackourgirls no longer covers screens.
Over one month later, their names are still labeled as missing.

Telephone poles are naked with nothing but splinters to wear.
There’s not enough room to plaster three hundred pictures on each one.
We thought there wasn’t enough time.
We thought one month later, this story would be buried among the amber alerts than turned green,
the protests that turned rescue stories.

Something must be done before these girls are sold, like slavery is just a tax for not paying your dues.
These 300 girls never knew about tax and never knew about dues.
They were at school.
Never thinking the next day they’d make front-line news labelled missing,
But being lost is not an ending to a story.

300 girls are still missing,
in a country they call their own.
And just because it’s not newsworthy anymore,
that doesn’t mean it’s not worth something.

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