Wartime Jewel

rwanda genocide children

i’d like to see the jewels of war and genocide.

the wounded children lying broken, bleeding

liquid red ruby into the earth and the street.

Dying in puddles and ditches and rubble,

their shining diamond eyes searching, searching.

Their little fingernails like pearls,

clutching, gripping, grasping

holding on to something.

And their bones, white like ivory.

Their hair in silken strands of obsidian, gold, and citrine.

So precious and pure

these little wartime jewels.

So costly, so dear,

their loss turns hearts to stone.

Fathers into shadows.

Mothers into skeletons.

Murderers into victors.

Evil into power.

And the blood never dries.

Nesha Usmani.

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