|Copyright Michele Neethling - thank you Michele for sharing this with us! Please find Michele Neethling art school and studio on Facebook.|
(In my previous post down below, I mentioned the testimony I heard of the man who hid in a banana tree to save his life in the Rwandan Genocide. This is a piece I wrote for the Genocide.. While I was posting this, I realized how for many the trees they hid in saved their lives and how for me, there was a Tree that saved me too. That tree was called the Stake of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus Christ) May that Tree grant us comfort in the midst of the suffering of this world! )
Grow the Trees
I clung to her as screams broke out like blood around us.
The sound of terror and pillage roared about us, when would it end?
I clung to my sister as we stood in the clutches of a banana tree;
we stood high above the ground but scared.
Day after day time passed so quickly all the while I watched my sister grow weary.
I reached for her chest daily but she was not like mama – there was no milk in her breast
and mama was dead, the milk of life now dry in her chest.
I curled up high above the ground, curled up tight in to a banana leaf.
Eventually though, sister grew too tired and she fell out that tree,
I felt my eyes grow big but I had no other reaction, I was too weak.
I watched the mean from the opposite tribe carry her away laughing and peering up in to the tree.
I held my breath, within the leaves – they did not see me but I held my breath so I wouldn’t scream.
That was Rwanda, 1994.
I was a child, hated and despised because of my heritage and different tribe.
Now I am a mama, supposedly free whose feet now tread on a strange South African land littered with mean, unkept streets.
I am a foreigner, to me they are the strangers and I still see what I saw before
the animal soul behind men’s eyes, they hate me.
They jeer at me because I belong to the opposite tribe,
to the tribe called “women.”
I take to the streets still holding my breath
only now I am naked like Adam and Eve
no banana leaf to hide me.
I see brutality in the bare, naked streets and as I walk I can only but whisper,
“God please grow the trees.”