Before the blast in April's darkened sky. . .
before the electrifying surge of insurgency -
when trucks and tanks were used to block the roads, and
when men and even boys were sought to aid in one malicious purpose. . .
before the rampant slaughter -
the raining of machetes down on flesh and bones
and the cornucopia of corpses left like butchered carcasses
on highways, nearby houses and in churches. . .
before the plundering, the rapes and mutilations
and the exodus of thousands to death-infested camps,
there were whisperings -
insidious and portentous to the ears of the wisely suspicious -
and a voice on the airwaves spewing hate.
Before it all,
there was a brewing of resentment
of a people with a history of poverty and
of transitory freedom and capricious politics.
And through it all, with such grave consternation,
governments debated. . . waited. . . . . . . and waited,
playing with semantics
while thousands dead became the hundred thousand,
and three long months - unrivaled for its number of atrocities -
came to its completion.
Seemingly, peace has been restored
and punishment stingily doled out.
Time moves on . . .
except for half a million
for whom compassion by the world
For Debbie Guzzi's "Let's Get Serious" Poetry Contest