On Leaving Bangui, Central African Republic | Judith Terzi

Posted on Posted in poems

Together once    Animists    Christians
Muslims    The sun reaches

the middle of its journey    Glossy-starlings
proclaim the radiance

Terror groups overpower    torch homes
dismember bodies    cattle

At noon    the cricket’s song still faint
Across the land    everything

sleeps    an immense sleep it seems
Now Muslims flee    A side

no longer matters in exile    soaked in light
The wind spins its breath

three times as if to enchant    And then
no breeze at all to caress

the kapok leaves    Overcrowded trucks
crawl across dense forest

grasslands    far from Bangui    hundreds
of miles to the border    to camps

in Cameroon    Tall grasses hold in
their undulations on the winding

refugee route    where children point
weapons    wait in ambush

The call of the cicadas deepens
a haunting    insatiable song


Source: “Flight from Rage.” Alexandra Zavis. The Los Angeles Times. March 30, 2014., Batouala. René Maran. Loose translations
from the French are the poet’s.

About the Author
Judith Terzi‘s most recent chapbook, If You Spot Your Brother Floating By, is a collection of memoir poems from Kattywompus Press. Her poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems (Tupelo), Raintown Review, Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the 60s & 70s (She Writes), Unsplendid, and Wide Awake: The Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Beyond Baroque). She holds an M.A. in French Literature and taught high school French for many years as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria.