Categories
Poetry

These Thousand Hills

By Melissa A. Chappell

(For the 800,000 people who perished in the Rwandan genocide of 1994)

I am a Eucalyptus tree.

For a hundred years I have stood here

with my roots pressed in this Rwandan earth.

They reach down

deep,

deep into the underworld,

where life is not,

and the dead

flee away.

.

My branches reach

high,

high into the heavens,

where there is

no wrong,

and death

flees away.

.

But I dwell on earth,

and what I have seen!

What I have seen!

The rain was blood

for my shamed roots,

and loathing myself,

I was made rich

by rotting flesh,

flesh that

no one claimed

because they, too,

had disappeared

into oblivion.

.

Come, Mercy, come!

Lay an axe to my trunk.

Butcher my wood

as they did the people

to whom I once

gave shade.

Set me ablaze.

Make me a holocaust

to the heavens.

Let me burn!

May my holy essence

float across

these thousand hills

.

so that none may

be forgotten,

so that none may

be forgotten.

.

Come, Mercy, come!

Let me burn.

.

Melissa A. Chappell is a native of South Carolina living on land passed down through her family for over 120 years. She is greatly inspired by the land and music. She plays several instruments, among them an 8 course Renaissance lute. She shares her life with her family and two miniature schnauzers. She recently published Dreams in Isolation: The World in Shadow: Poems of Reconciliation and Hope with Alien Buddha Press.

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL. 

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