DEATH

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Diana Betham-Scanlan

Darkness! Disaster! Despair!

Dejection! Depression! Desolation!

Death! Death! Death!

Hurry the soldiers are coming!

Dig faster!

Dig deeper!

A shallow grave will do

Hold the lantern

Turn it down

Blow it out

Whisper

The horses are approaching

The soldiers are coming

Ssshhh… Aua le pisa

O maifitafita

Ave loa Mama

Ave loa Papa

Togi I le namu I Toamua

Ssshhh…

Don’t make noise

The soldiers are coming

They will take Mama

They will take Papa

Throw them in the mass grave

At Toamua

Ssshhh…

S.S.Talune

Colonel Logan

“It is temporary and like children, the Samoans will get over it

Provided they are handled with care

They will later on remember

All that has been done for them

In the previous four years”

8th August 1919

Oi Aue! Oi Aue! Uasau le mala

It took great grandpa

And his mother

And his sister

And his brother

It took great uncle

And his cousin

And his brother

Who are my family? 

They are my brothers

They are my sisters

Ioe, O lo’utoto

They are my blood!

Auoi o le oti!

Auoi o le mala!

Death! Death! Death!

Yeah, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death

I will fear no evil

For thou art with me

Thy rod and thy staff

They comfort me

Comfort

Their spirits giveth me life

God giveth me life

Life! Life! Life!

Toe feiloai I le lagi, I pu’e o manuae 

le o mala We meet again in heaven

In happiness but not curses

© Samoa Observer 2016

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