Not Your Usual Sunday Walk, poem by Connie K Walle

      Two pairs of pants, two shirts, one skirt
      and a blanket. A 2 year old son lifted
      onto her shoulder, a 3 month old son
      tied to her hip, her husband murdered,
      she flees to Thailand from Cambodia.

      With neighbors, relatives, friends
      they travel a narrow path through
      the jungle. She has no food, no money.

      The others share food with her, but
      she feeds only her children. Her
      friend gives her food says, “For you.
      Eat*, your children need you.”

      A man steps off the trail to urinate
      steps on a land mine and is blown to infinity.
      Women are pulled off the trail
      by bandits, raped, their clothes stolen
      for gold sewed into the seams.

      Three days, three nights. Sleep in short
      two hour sets. Finally, they reach a small village.
      Build a shanty town from branches and leaves.
      The Red Cross brings rice.

      This is but one segment of her three-year
      journey to freedom. For soon
      soldiers will come again and she will
      run with her children under the hail of bullets.

      (*sum rap kyum, yum)

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Lauri Kubuitsile