The Messenger’s Speech
I arrive with tragic news from the hospital.
I will tell all that I saw, no lies or cover-ups.
I followed my master, the Hospital Administrator,
To the ward of detainment.
Where the women, with their heads drooped,
Newborns starving in their arms
The smell of death, all around,
The odor of vomit, splattered on the floor,
Like the blood of maiden Monica,
Was soon to be.
Suddenly we heard a piercing scream,
A sound that raised the hairs on the back of my neck,
The sound that can only be the cry,
Of a woman who has seen death for the first time.
We ran to the end of the dorm,
As fast as we could run,
And there we saw a sight,
That can never be unseen.
Monica, the new mother, was a foot above the ground,
Her lifeless body hanging from a cord on the ceiling.
Those hollow accusing eyes, a reminder that we were to blame. And the worst was yet to come.
The infant was barely a month old,
A baby I watched starve till its ribs were visible,
But was unable to help.
Now it lay in eternal slumber, with his mother,
A mother and child, both dead.
What is going through the public’s head?
They unleashed their fury,
But not before a jury,
The Hospital Magistrate was poisoned with lead.
In Kenya, new mothers who cannot pay for the costs of their hospital treatment are detained in the hospital until they can pay. Our play was focused on this situation and specifically a new mother called Monica who cannot afford the costs. In the end her and her baby are dead.
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