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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)

TITLE: Roméo's Song
By Benjamin Graber


I tossed my sanity aside
To duel with time and race the days—
I wrestled with a hundred nations
To keep a civil war at bay…

Time is running out,
Does anybody care?

To keep the peace I built an army,
But apathy held me like chains;
Who cares for small Rwanda,
Who held no wealth in her domain?

Time is running out,
Does anybody care?

I fought for peace within the storm
While hatred brewed behind the masks;
I cried for peace and looked for answers
But no one gave me what I asked…

Time is running out,
Does anybody care?

And when perfect time had come
The murderers revealed their scheme:
The Tutsis fell beneath their blades
Their blood becoming crimson streams…

Time is running out,
Does anybody care?

I needed help to save the others,
I cried to all the world for aid,
But no one cared enough to help,
Their charity a big charade…

Time is running out,
Does anybody care?

No one could gain from saving lives,
So no one stopped the genocide,
And when the storm had cleared its course
Eight hundred thousand Tutsis died…

Time had run its course,
And no one seemed to care…

Roméo Dallaire was the force commander of UNAMIR (The United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda). He was directly involved in saving the lives of about 20,000 Tutsis and Hutus through the Rwanda genocide, but was unable to get the U.N. to send more troops into Rwanda to stop the genocide until 3 months after the genocide began.

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This article has been read 491 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Murray03/12/09
Human nature is truly brutal. I can't see how humanists have such faith in it. Come, Lord Jesus, come to rule with an iron rod.
Charla Diehl 03/13/09
A somber piece that left me feeling so sorry for all those who live apart from Christ. The voice of this poem is strong and desperate at the same time. Great job.
Christina Banks 03/18/09
A sad and powerful peom. Thank you for sharing.
I really liked you lines:
"I fought for peace within the storm
While hatred brewed behind the masks;"
Mona Purvis03/18/09
Compelling writing about a truly dark day in the world. Continues in other places around the world. Must break the heart of God, who does care.
Gerald Shuler 03/18/09
"Time had run its course,
And no one seemed to care…"

What a powerful indictment for the world powers that now exist. Ending this magnificent poem with an elipsis was brilliant. It shows that the problem is still on-going. There are still too many places that are not being aided simply because there is nothing to be gained by helping... except, of course, HUMAN LIVES! Oh, what a misplaced value system this world has developed!
Norma-Anne Hough 03/18/09
Rwanda's history is very sad.
Powerful poem.
Chely Roach03/18/09
This was poignant and brilliantly written. Excellent...
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/18/09
Your use of repetition, then contrast at the end, is very effective. You did an great job with mood and word choice selection in this excellent poem.
Karlene Jacobsen03/18/09
What a sad thing to hear, "Does anyone care?" This is a powerful poem.
Pamela Kliewer03/18/09
Wow... I read this again after reading your note at the end... very powerful and well written piece. Really leaves me thinking...
Henry Clemmons03/18/09
You got my attention and the message kept me interested. Great title and presentation.
Catrina Bradley 03/18/09
This is the kind of poetry I like - wonderful flow, rhyme and rhythm, and a powerful message.