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Saturday, March 05, 2016


by Darrell Petska

Berta Cáceres, the Honduran indigenous and environmental rights campaigner, has been murdered, barely a week after she was threatened for opposing a hydroelectric project. Her death prompted international outrage at the murderous treatment of campaigners in Honduras, as well as a flood of tributes to a prominent and courageous defender of the natural world. –The Guardian, March 4, 2016

They come in darkness to kill you,
the cowards,
to kill you because they fear you
or because someone paying them fears you
because your words, sharpened on truth,
have ripped the facade from their villainies.

So they counter with bullets.
In darkness. Because daylight
exposes them for what they are.
The people know rapaciousness when they see it.
Nonetheless, the cowards kill you
as if that will be the end of you.

Now she is dead, they boast.
Her mouth cannot speak,
her body cannot block our path.

But you saw this day coming.
The cowards approaching.
The flash of their bullets.
That part is over. You are dead.
Your body rests in peace.
Now the heart of your work can begin.

Darrell Petska's writing appears in Blast Furnace, The Tule Review, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, Red Paint Hill, previously in TheNewVerse.News, and other publications. Darrell cut short his career as a university editor to be the arbiter of his own words. He now is, in Madison, Wisconsin.