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Sport 17: Spring 1996

Thoughts on Rwanda During a Commercial Break

page 74

Thoughts on Rwanda During a Commercial Break

If I should flay you from a branch
Brother, you will understand
I am the living crazed.
My mother's eyes have
Instructed, kill he
Who killed your father's
Sister, and flayed she
from a grey branch
And left her gullet
Up at the sky,
Not hearing any longer
Rwanda, Rwanda
The name of this girl
With once a bright red hula hoop.

Boy, you are on the cover
Of the Economist.
Boy, you are famous!
This is a first for Rwanda
So why the crinkled look?
The cross eyebrows?
Boy, go and tell and your mother
You’re on the cover
Of the Economist.

page 75

A word of warning.
Why, in the paper this morning, a girl described the attack on her which left her without an arm. It felt, she said, like a weight falling from the bough of a tree. But since she is only eight she is wondering, how her arm is feeling.

What the astronaut saw.
The astronaut spoke from space this morning. He was on all the radio stations. Once every twenty-four minutes he has been able to see the calamity from God's parlour. He blames the carpetlayers for raising Rwanda and causing black limbs and burnished skulls to clatter into dry creek beds and thus tumble across the frontier to our living-rooms.

Rwanda, Rwanda, I see you in my shaving mirror, the girl with the bright red hula hoop.
There is a woman in the paper this morning going to Rwanda. She says she feels ‘privileged’. There is a photograph of her. She is excited. You can see that. She is going to Rwanda. Right before the reporter arrived she had been on the telephone telling everyone, ‘I'm going to Rwanda. I've been picked.’ I feel so lucky to have been picked.That's what she actually said to the reporter. She knows it is going to be a tough assignment. She hopes that she will be up to it. But her background is a resilient one. She says her mother once saw a busload of children drive off a bridge and bounce on to the road thirty feet below, like a can of beans. Her mother, who often speaks of the incident, is kicking on for eighty-three.