Kenyan-born Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, who was recently named London's Young Poet Laureate, is writing verse about the state of the world that captures what I cannot find words to say. This poem of hers has been making the rounds on Facebook, shared and shared again, no doubt because it scalds us with its truth. Thank God for the artists like Warsan because most of the politicians "popping off" right now sound hateful and crazy and devoid of all sense and humanity.
what they did yesterday afternoon
They set my aunt's house on fire
I cried the way women on tv do
folding at the middle
like a five pound note.
I called the boy who used to love me
tried to 'okay' my voice
I said hello
he said Warsan, what's wrong, what's happened?
I've been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like:
I come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.
later that night
I held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?