Srebrenica: A Poem

The Srebrenica Genocide, commemorated every July 11th in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and by Bosnian people across the world was one of the darkest moments in modern European history, and a black mark on the international community that did nothing to stop it.  Over 8,000 Bosniak men and boys were herded up by Serb forces and mercilessly executed, their bodies left to rot in ditches and mass graves.

Some families are still burying their dead, while others have nothing left of their loved ones, even their very bones unable to be laid to rest.  Srebrenica is a town steeped in pain. The fear that must have been experienced by those people those July days, we simply cannot imagine.  The only thing we have left is to remember them and to think of them.

 

I look at my son, kneeling besides me. 

The clouds above us are dense and heavy with rain. 

God, can you hear me? 

Let the rain fall.  Maybe they won’t do it if it’s raining. 

His eyes are full of tears. 

Not a single tear rolls down his face, mimicking the sky. 

We’re not allowed to talk.  Don’t be afraid, I try to tell him without speaking. 

His lips are trembling.  He’s only nine. 

A flash of white light and deafening noise.  His body is limp besides me. 

The blood pools underneath him, absorbed by the earth.

I’ll be with you soon again, my son.

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