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Blessed Be Our Martyrs

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

For the victims of the 2022 and 2023 floods in South Africa

Our mother, she cries, with unceasing tears

She sobs for hours, for days, for weeks

We hear the thundering beat of her broken heart

As she fills the oceans and rivers and dams

Without restraint

Until the waterbanks burst

She unleashes her fury

As waves and currents come crashing

“GONE,” she says

As she tears down villages

With one sweep of her mighty hand

“GONE be these creations of man!”

Ripped from her belly, ripped from her core

In the name of fashion and civilization

“You have forgotten your place,

Forgotten yourselves!

You have left your mother for dead!”

And so our gentle mother rages

From KwaZulu to iKapa

We die year after year

Blessed be our martyrs

In the name of vanity

In the name of progress


© 2023 Marieke de Koker

Image: South Africa 2022 © Sandile Ndlovu/MSF (Doctors Without Borders)

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