Honorata* (a poem in support of Congolese women in war)

5 million screams falling on deaf ears

Fatherless children fathered by foreign soldiers

Homes with no husbands

Husbands with no honor

Rape as a tool for much more than power

Pregnant women’s legs spread

Aborted by their own community

Thus another rape committed

Another violation unforgiven

Another lifeless life lived by abandoned women

But on behalf of men worldwide

I ask you to stand with pride

Because your screams were never silent

We were never compliant in these acts so violent

Across oceans we cried for you when you ran out of tears

Incapable of international intervention to assuage your fears

Your stories became our poems

Your horrors inhabited our homes

But now you must hear that we are here for you

I implore you to forgive the world for having ignored you

As they raped you they said “today you will have husbands …”

But as we embrace you I say “today you will have brothers”

For all of my Congolese sisters, daughters, and mothers

Your perseverance is appreciated

Your persistence respected

Though human interest has depreciated

I’ll ensure you’re no longer neglected

Let these wods be your pillow to comfort your despair

And let the love of this one man show you that men care


*Inspired by the story of Honorata Kizende

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