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Thursday, March 12, 2009


by Allene Rasmussen Nichols

If I were a woman in the Sudan
who must leave the camp each day
to get water
and face rape
again and again
because my husband
would be killed outright

And if my country’s betrayal
had been beaten and starved into my body
and the dead bodies of my friends

I wouldn’t know
about the International Criminal Court
or care about my country’s leader’s bruised ego

But when those aid trucks rolled away
and I knew
that my children had suffered so long
only to die

I would curse the nations
who allowed the trucks to leave
who knew we would die
and did nothing.

Allene Rasmussen Nichols lives in Arlington, Texas, where she teaches English and drama at Gateway School. Her poems have been published in Philament, Ariel, Sylvan Echo and other journals and the anthology Dance the Guns to Silence: 100 Poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa. Her plays have been produced in California, Dallas, and New York.