Squalor of the camps

“Do I have to?”

an anywhere place
an any when time
with rocks and spears
or guns and bombs
a soldier’s pay
often includes rape

refugees
displaced persons
fleeing death
rotting corpses
burning homes
looted crops

collected into camps
women, girls and boys
victims of conflict
conflict within
to survive
will do anything

blue helmets and white flag
peacekeepers they are not
predators and thieves
blind eyes from afar
press conferences and studies
while millions die in shame

in the squalor of the camps
food is not free
protection at a steep price
mother tells her young children
go with the man do what he says
do I have to?

By Rose Dewy Knickers, August 1st, 2008

U.N. peacekeepers raping children for decades.

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16 thoughts on “Squalor of the camps

  1. where is our sense of right and wrong?? how can we allow that over there,, and then bring them home and expect them to act like normal loving sons, husbands brothers??

    and there is,, as i see it… no way out..

    excellent thought provoking piece rose….

  2. Heart-wrenching! It’s all so disgusting! Excellent poem, Rose! I especially like the beginning and the part about the mother urging the kids to do what the man says gave me goosebumps!

  3. i forgot to leave this message attached to my previous comment….

    in addition, i just want to let you know i am posting my new poetry on justpaisley…. now, and i sure would love it if you came over and had a look….

  4. Excellently done, but if I can say a word in defence of the soldier. Those who commit atrocities are few – very few. And they don’t start wars. Politicians do that.

  5. very sad and insightful commentary on the state of the world — i’d like to believe it’s the exception rather than the rule – don’t know if that makes me naive or optimistic!!!

  6. You’ve painted the ugliness of war or was it human kind at it’s worst urged on by our ignorance of being kind to others. Sewn together nicely though. Great work.

  7. I am just wondering how difficult it must be for the mother, protecting herself, and then the young girls and boys..the question why does she have to..really hangs over my head

  8. This is so painful to read, obviously much more painful to live. I am saddened beyond belief. (I do agree with Anthony North, though, that these horrible beings are the exception.)

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