A Poem for the Horn of Africa

As the famine in the Horn of Africa continues to claim the lives of thousands, the images from Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia of the widespread devastation are broadcasted on the nightly news and websites across the internet.  The innocent faces of starving children, women experiencing rape and sexual abuse, and men struggling to provide for their families are overwhelming.  The humanitarian aid  has been slowed by a civil war in Somalia, the worst hit country of this crisis, mainly due to the restrictions of entry into the country placed on relief agencies by the rebel Al-Shabaab militants.  The famine has already claimed tens of thousands of lives and threatens the security of the nearly 12 million other lives in the region.  I hope as many of us who are privileged enough to enjoy our lives of relative comfort in a country like The United States of America can do all we can to ease the suffering of those who are in the Horn of Africa.  By offering our prayers and private donations, we can all make a difference!

Hunger has seized my legs, arms and mind

Over unforgiving terrain and dessert sands I have traveled, yet no food can I find

Reuters, Aljazeera and CNN, well dressed camera and microphone toting men and women, have come to survey

Nobody brought us medicine for the cholera, measles, or malaria today

Of my 7 children I instructed 4 of them to turn around and leave the refugee camp after we arrived

For over a week now I’ve been trying to get admitted with no luck, if I hadn’t sent them away they might have died

As did those 70 blameless children buried at Dadaab beneath the drought-crusted ground

Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do when they raise staple foods 200% + and no one watching makes a sound

Rather than make a sound…I whimpered only to Allah, with my teeth clinched and eyes teary as a “man” raped me last night

I could have reported it this morning but there are rebels dressed as government agents; every one of them ready to fight

Can you deliver a message to my husband who is on his way here, so that though I die these words he will always remember?

As I did in my youth, I waited eagerly for you my love to come back to me, like the rains in September…

© 2011



2 thoughts on “A Poem for the Horn of Africa

    • Thank you very much for your comment. It’s such a horrible situation over there. I felt it was appropriate to at least write a poem as passionately as I could about it. Thanks once again!

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