Monday, 17 July 2017

Security of Person - Lynn Sweeting

That I am here
writing,

not running
from bombs
of chemicals
or fire,

not hiding
from soldiers
for whom rape
is a weapon
of war,

not afraid
of going to jail
or dying
in a genocide
if I say
in this poem,
my government
fails me,

not silenced
to keep from
getting killed
by male relatives
hell-bent
on calling murder
a matter
of honour,

not in terror
of death
by land theft,
unmanned drones
or a wall
going up
between me
and the fields
where I grow my
family’s food,

not in a tent
facing the night
in a refugee camp
in a country
that doesn’t want me
because my country
is getting
blown away,

not kidnapped,
trafficked to God
knows where,
not enslaved.

that I am here
at my desk by the window,
attempting poetry
means that
for this moment,
I am safe.

So this poem
must be written
for the ones
too busy surviving
to write,

for mothers
in the millions
who’ve never known safety
in their entire lives,

to bear them witness,
to demand
the human right
to security of person
be upheld
for all people
of the earth
at last,

because the safe ones
aren’t really safe
and poets
can’t be counted
among the silent ones.

Lynn Sweeting (20th century) Bahamas
Source: Womanish Words (Lynn's blog)

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