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We Learned The Hard Way

In the late eighties, I and my college friends went to the deaf church located at Fairfax, Virginia. The deaf preacher was adopted by elderly couples who were stationed at the U.S. army base, in Germany during World War II. As the father heard some freshmen students complaining about their food on campus, he said, " When I was in the army in Germany, I had no any food or drink to celebrate my birthday. But I was lucky that I had a box of crackers that I shared with my comrades in celebration of my B-day. We all praised the Lord for these pieces of food. That is why I am wondering as I hear you time and again complaining about your food. You have to thank God for giving your daily bread." Such realistic assertion may be applied to our contemporary youths who did not taste the bitter cup of wretchedness with camouflaged agenda during the dark hours of our history. If some don't know or forget their past, they cannot appreciate their comparable pursuit of living today. With this in mind, I would like to share with you the following poem:-


This sacred city
Once became a prison camp
When a quarter
Of a million Derg armies
Made our top flats
Their trenches
And our historic schools
Their clubs and hospitals.

In the curfew of the night
Life was early to bed
And early to rise
But not for runaway dogs
Which howled and roamed
Till the cock crows.

There was money
But noting to buy
The hungry child
Had to cry
Every now and then
While sucking the breast
Of undernourished mother.

There was a shortage of supplies
No sugar or coffee
For many days and nights
The poor mothers
Had to grind some candies
in order to sweeten their tea.

But not only that...
They had to chop to pieces
Their tables, chairs, and boxes
Which they used as fire wood
In order to cook their food.

We saw the dancing trees
Which were accustomed
To the gentle blow of friendly winds
While knocking down everywhere
By a bomb-generated hurricane.

We saw the singing birds stir
From the ugly sounds of bombs.

We saw the abandoned child
While running to the approaching tanks.

We saw the aged, bedridden
And visually impaired
Who had no one around
To take them out
While their houses
Burned to the ground.

We saw many young women
Waiting in the line
From morning to dark
To get their share
From water tanks.

We saw many poor folks sleeping
Inside the train cars
Of the legendary Ferovia
A reminiscent of Sawa
Under the leadership of Gedil
Which means struggle.

At last, my country men and women
We learned the hard way.
Where is the court
In this soulless world
Where is pity
In this senseless world?
Where is humanity
In this cruel world?
For all these
Let us forgive
But not forget
For the sake of peace
In this very world
devoid of justice.


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We Learned The Hard Way Reviewed by Admin on 12:00 AM Rating: 5

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