Found Poetry: Survivors, Two Continents

Hole-BWI’m no poet, but a reader of both poetry and the news. Sometimes they don’t seem so far apart. Here, a found poem, based on excerpts from original reporting in The New York Times and Chicago Tribune.

Survivors, Two Continents
Words from Nigeria, Niger and the United States

Sad-CherubThis is not a village.

It’s just
empty space.

Always before bed I think,
my pockets are empty,
I don’t know how
to feed
my family.

I don’t like to fight.

I think about going to school
and becoming a religious leader
I want
to become
I will teach reading
and writing.

I seen it all, I was
when the guns went

I didn’t have kids
to lose ’em

A teenager selling sugar cane
on the corner
may have killed
but he isn’t sure.

There was one room at that camp,
and any woman
into that room
what was going to happen in there.

Maybe you take some of that
duct tape
and put it
her mouth.

For the people that did what they did yesterday …
there’s only one place.

“I feel so guilty,” she said.



Original Sources:
Fleeing Boko Haram, Thousands Cling to a Road to Nowhere (New York Times, Dionne Searcey and Adam Ferguson)
Beneath Mask of Normal Nigerian Life, Young Lives Scarred by Boko Haram (New York Times, Dionne Searcey and Adam Ferguson)
After 7 fatally shot, some South Shore residents shocked, others say it’s nothing new (Chicago Tribune, William Lee, Peter Nickeas and Jeremy Gorner)
Mendoza calls on Rauner, WGN radio host to apologize for ‘duct tape’ comment (Chicago Tribune, Kim Geiger and Monique Garcia)

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