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Shira: I don’t know how to write a love poem

I DON’T KNOW HOW TO WRITE A LOVE POEM                                                                

by Shira, Development Instructor,  IICD Massachussetts  

 

I don`t know how to write a love poem
But I can tell you what it is like to hear
Third world children screaming my name and running towards me with open arms
I can tell you what it is like to have lived in Mozambique
For only half a year
And to return
With familiar faces as I embrace
The memories they have kept alive of me
Calling out my name as if I have been here all along

I don't know how to write a love poem
But I can tell you what it is like to have a machete to my neck
For a mere 50 cents in my pocket
What it is like to see children who
Run around full of dirt and soiled clothing
Blowing up used condoms to play with
With gorged bellies and yellowing hair
But a smile and a laugh so genuine, so energetic, so FULL of life

I don't know how to write a love poem
But I can tell you what it is like to be offered a meal by a family of ten
Who don't know what food they will eat tomorrow
But regardless hand me the corn from which they
Tossed the soil and planted the seeds and tended to for 4 months
I can tell you what it is like to enjoy every bite of their gift
I can tell you how romantic it is
To be in a land more powerful than the people
What it is like to depend on the rain
What it is like to see life taken away
By a mosquito or a snake
Or a small infection or sickness
My privileged eyes have only known to be treated by
Easily obtainable over the counter medicines
I can tell you what it is like for a family living in a mud hut
To never touch money
To grow what they eat
And trade what they need
I can tell you what it is like
To watch them sing and dance
And praise this life despite everything that
Is constantly taken away from them
I can tell you what it is like to taste death

I don't know how to write a love poem
But I can tell you what it is like
To cry alone in my room
Thinking of the magnitude of this epidemic
Replaying the words of the child I have latched onto
Telling me his mother is positive with a huge smile on his face
Convinced that those words mean that she is healthy
I can tell you what it is like to hold so many ambitions
To be of help and walk with change
But to feel so small, mute, and lifeless
Watching the unqualified nurses playing out their roles
Or being present in a place where
The voices of women and children are left unheard
Or trying to mobilize a population of people to get tested
But lacking the capacity to offer them the
Proper medications to feed off their answers
I can tell you what it is like
To never want to find myself again in that situation where
I lack the education to easily save a life in front of me
I can tell you what it is like to SCREAM on the inside

I don't know how to write a love poem
But I can tell you what it is like to
Sit near the water
Watching the sunset daily
With the wind on my cheeks
And a profound appreciation
For this day to which
I do not have malaria
This day to which
I am not HIV positive
This day to which my belly is full
This day to which I can
See, hear, touch, walk, breath, love
And live

Every time I find myself walking this land
I am hit by these duality of emotions.

I love it hereBut I hate it!

I hate the mosquito,
I hate the snake,
I hate the rich whites who live in Mozambique and heavily profit off of the people of the most extreme poverty I've ever seen,
I hate the pharmaceutical companies,
I hate the 1st world citizens who so easily close their eyes to humans who exist in a time that seems so ancient.

I hate that they're hungry,
I hate that their sick,
I hate the corruption
I hate that I can only do a little
When I crave so much to be of help


At times I am overwhelmed with
Loneliness, heartache, hatred , and pain
But as I search for my purpose
I find inspiration deep within
The smiles painted on the children of the developing worlds
And the pleasures of life I have taken for granite my whole existence until now


I do not know how to write a love poem
But I can tell you what it is like to dream of the day
When we live equally
And I can tell you this
A passion I will never stop to fight


Peace, Hugs, and see you soon,

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Vian: Le Deserteur
Whitman: Salut au monde
 

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Sunday, 08 December 2019