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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)

TITLE: I Was Thirsty
By Jana Kelley


I was thirsty, so thirsty
And they came and dug a well, a water well.
I was overjoyed, so overjoyed.
My whole village was overjoyed!
Water! Imagine…no more carrying water
In jerry cans, so heavy, so heavy,
For kilometers of sandy paths under
The hot, hot sun.

I was sick, so sick.
My stomach hurt, my head hurt.
The fever burned and burned
My whole family was worried.
Help! My father brought me to a clinic.
The doctors were strange people from far, far away,
But they gave me medicine and I went home and felt
Better and better.

I was scared, so scared.
Men came rushing through on camels.
I was running, running.
My whole village was running.
Ratatat! Guns were firing.
Houses were burning, burning.
My village lay in ashes under
The hot, hot sun.

I was sad, so sad
They had killed and wounded so many.
I was afraid, so afraid.
My whole village was afraid!
Help! My own father was wounded.
Then I remembered, remembered
Those white doctors, the clinic…
Hope! Hope!

I walked and walked.
My father rode our donkey all the way.
There it is! There it is!
The clinic is here…help is here!
Why are the doors shut? Where are they?
The doctors are gone…gone.
I turn and lead the donkey with my father back home under
The hot, hot sun.

On March 5, 2009 many Humanitarian Aid Organizations covering approximately half the aid in Dar Fur were expelled from Sudan.

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This article has been read 426 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Norma-Anne Hough 03/12/09
Poignant poem. Well done.
Lynda Schultz 03/12/09
This very current event has slipped by most of us. What a terrible tragedy on top of an already terrible tragedy.
Loren T. Lowery03/12/09
You were able to use a poetic insight into a terrible situation that made it impossible not to be moved. I especially liked the way you wove the word hope into the poem...sometimes we forget that hope is universal and can come in the most seemingly insignificant ways - but it is still what encourages us. Great job!
Josiah Kane03/12/09
This was certainly a moving piece. It is terrible that so many people should be denied help from those that would give it freely.

As a poem it isn't a very good idea to treat a word as though it rhymes with itself, or if you want to, use that method throughout the piece. That said I did like the rest of your repetition and your in-character vocabulary.

Rachel Rudd03/12/09
Wow, very poignant and well-written. Although you were referring to one particular time in Sudan, you touched on several issues relevant to other times and places. Well done!
Ruth Ann Moore03/13/09
I really enjoyed your poem. I liked how each stanza built to the end. I was so hopeful for the father, and then so disappointed, as they must have been, when the clinic was closed. Thank you for bringing this recent history to light in such a poignant way.
Karlene Jacobsen03/14/09
Wow! This is a sad, sad piece. You note at the end is even more sad. Thank you for writing this. It is terrible the horrors so many must live through.
Connie Dixon03/15/09
I'm afraid the horror of the facts of this entry have just begun. Your piece is relevant, current and creative. Good job!
Coleene VanTilburg 03/20/09
Congratulations on your first place win! well deserved.