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Wednesday, March 28, 2012


by Judith Terzi

          --after "A young Somali lured into a life of death," Los Angeles Times 11/11

I prayed for strength to flee, to be free again.     
I sold my guns to cattle traders, then fled
the camps. In Nairobi, I roam at night & beg,
share a mattress with other Somali teens.
We don't speak Swahili, can't read or write
or work. I sleep all day, don't dare to dream
I'll find a way to live a different life.
I hear my mother pray; I shouldn't lose faith.
Men lured me with camel milk, cash, & pride,
tried to harden our eyes, the ties, showed tapes
of killings, said that terror was only revenge.
I miss my mother--my feelings locked inside.
A rocket killed my parents, blew up our home.
No hand to hold, no nod, no hug. Alone.

Judith Terzi's poetry has received nominations for Best of the Net and Web as well as awards and recognition from journals and presses including Alehouse Press, dotdotdash, Gold Line Press (USC), Mad Hatters', Newport Review and River Styx. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in BorderSenses, dotdotdash, Qarrtsiluni, Raintown Review, Spillway and elsewhere. For many years a high school French teacher, she also taught English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria.