The women in Darfur By Jason Eslamieh

Her seven children packed in a one room hut
Quiet with no movement, scraps on the ground
The baby in a hammock, mended sheets and palm fronds
The oldest, nine, standing by the window, a hole in the wall
Gazing into the bushland looking over the thin line
Where the land meets the sky

The deadly silence heard so loud
Broken by the sound of boots pounding near- in the distance
Dust rises, dirt in the sky
Fifteen men in camouflage
One kicks the door in
Roomful of bodies, eyes glowing in the dark
Fear sucks the air out and for a moment every one knows what is about to come

The baby screams with more courage
Than all the fifteen in camouflage
She stands up, reaching for her baby
A hand crosses the room grabs her by the hair
Shredded sheets and broken fronds,
No more screams, not even a peep
Her back hits the ground, the sound of shame echoes fifteen times
Forever in her mind

Five children packed in the corner, one is gone
No one looks, no one talks
The baby is holding her breath
Color purple, eyes wide open

As the sun is sinking into the earth
He comes back home
He knows what has happened, no words skip any mouths

She finds herself out
Out of her home
Home she made for so long
Husband she loved, children she raised
Strangers in the dark

Night is falling, hyenas roaming in the distance
She lays on her side holds onto her knees
She whispers: God
Silence replies: you are all alone, close your eyes.

One Response to “The women in Darfur By Jason Eslamieh”

  1. Jadefaerietriste Says:

    Jason, the impact of this poem has not diminished since the first time i heard it read. The power in the words and imagery forces one to be there, in that space, watching, holding one’s breath, desperately wanting to change the outcome: the resulting powerless of the onlooker forces the reality beyond pain.

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