- Darfur Boy
for Rev. Dr. Gloria White-Hammond
Low drone, a fighter jet.Spider in my eye.Vacuum churning overhead;our neighbor’s eating dust.Sleep crawls with many legsacross the couch, across my mindwhile down the hall the two boys playwith flaming swords that split the air.Soon they’re burning Joan of Arcupon her pyre, crying loud,“Maid Marian, here’s a home for you.”“The grave,” they say. Into my mindthere comes a face, the one the preachercalled “Genocide”: a Darfur boywhose horseback master could not abidethe way he looked, so took an axe,now all that remains is a child of God,his nose long gone, his speechless moutha scar grown old,one eye sealed against the memory,one eye open, to never forget. [End Page 437]
Alexander Levering Kern is executive director of the Center for Spirituality, Dialogue, and Service at Northeastern University in Boston. A Quaker peace and justice organizer and widely published poet and writer, his work appears in Georgetown Review, The Caribbean Writer, Ibbetson Street, Spiritus, and The Wick (Harvard Divinity School), among others. He is editor of the anthology Becoming Fire: Spiritual Writing from Rising Generations (Andover Newton, 2006).