Alexandra, the police will beat us...

If you haven't found anything you are willing to die for, you aren't fit to live."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Painting by Jake Baddeley
Today my mind reveled in unaccustomed delight:
I voted for hope as my past was granted amnesty.
When I pressed the button, my shouts could be heard again
echoing across the mad streets, exploding the dirty buildings,
destroying twenty one years of fragmentation.
(Alexandra, the police will beat us if we make any move)
120 exiled voices crossed the borders freeing us
from historical amnesia as my uncle threw marbles
at the horse soldiers, inflaming us.
The rebel in me kneeled down with a sword in her hands,
thinking of my father crying when tears he didn’t have any more:
I would die for my country; I am ready to live.
Today I exercised my citizenship
and Mother Democracy lulled me
singing The National Anthem,
putting sugar on my lips.
Karla Bardanza

Copyright©Karla Bardanza 2012

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