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Haki R. Madhubuti

In Another Land

their parents' eyes no longer glow
they are water full and deplete
anchoring horror and hunger scarred faces.
children weighted down with loss of families, friends,
trust, homes, land, work, local scent, livestock,
dignity, and a country where indigenous schools
fail to prepare them for refugee status
or quick exits with grandmothers in wheelbarrows and
pregnant women driving tractors on one-way roads.


Kosovo is like Rwanda, Bosnia, and other recent histories,
small men with guns and putrid ideas
spit in the face of sanity, reason and why.
today's leaders stand before maps and spin lies
as televised and tortured children
wade through natural and man made mud
while quietly praying for bread, meat, and blankets,
revenge and clean water, with only their
questioning minds and culture,
empty stomachs and warm hands,
shattered doubts, history and dreams.


this is how new hatred is created
how centuries of ugly
memories are introduced to pre-teens and babies
whose smiles have disappeared or are broken
frozen in the tears of parents and elders who
whisper of a future, of possibilities
in the privacy and temporary protection of donated tents.


                 Remembering the children of Kosovo



Madhubuti, Haki R. Run Toward Fear: New Poems And A Poet's Handbook. Chicago, IL: Third World Press, Inc., 2004.