Ask them…they knew
When the soldiers mapped their attacks.
Ask them… they heard
The rebels marching towards their village
Climbing mountains; conquering valleys.
Ask them… they prayed
To the skies for a little light
Before escaping during the nighttime
In the opposite direction to the war.
They walked confidently full of hope
While teaching the children how to sing
To the sounds of bullets and missiles.
They concocted the antidote to the hatred and greed
That had sustained a whole army,
Poured droplets along the riverbank
To wash away the sins of a country
That kept trying to erase them.
Even when the patrol halted their journey
Forcing them to return to their land,
They set up tents and prepared a feast
For the border was a glimpse of freedom.
They worshipped until dawn and swore
That even if it would take generations
For the other side to be revealed
They were ready to wait until their last breath.
If only you had asked them…
If only you had listened to them…
You’d have known too what peace looked like.
The women faithfully communed with nature.

-Marianne Murekatete