Stand for me, stand for my country

I carry hope in one hand, horror in the other

The promise of tomorrow on my right side

The horrific reminder of my rape in the other

I will never forget what they did to my brother

How they bludgeoned my father,

Made my cousin eat her mother

I often wonder if the world will ever know

If I die today where does my sister’s hope go?

I thought my hand would be used to write wonderful poetry

But now I must carry this extension of me

This outward reminder of what happened to me

When they come back for me tomorrow, who will protect me?

When I can no longer walk, who will STAND for me?

Who will stand for my sisters and cousins in Panzi?

My veins now extend outside of my body

But I hope I won’t die in vain—a nobody

Hope is hard to carry when you only have one hand

If the present is a gift,

Who hates me enough to gift me this?

I may never know but I think you do

If I die tonight, will you let my story, my Congo die too?


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One Response to “Stand for me, stand for my country”

  1. Erin Says:


    Your work is stunning. Thank you for creating such beautiful poetry and sharing it with the world.

    I had Doc. Splaine’s class with you at UMCP and I periodically glance at your blog ever since you sent me a link to it severl years ago. I currently teach at Westland Middle School (special education and English) where you created a pulication with students several years ago. I will be working at Key Middle School in Silver Spring next year and would love to share some of your work with the students with your permission. Is there a central location where I can access your work and videos of readings?

    Thank you again for the inspriation.

    Erin Clark

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