Fiction and Poetry

Rwanda, A Poem for Remembrance Day

In remembrance of the Rwandan Genocide and those members of the Canadian Forces who participated in the United Nations Assistance Mission.

By Kevin Love
Published November 11, 2015

In Remembrance of the Rwandan Genocide and those members of the Canadian Forces who participated in the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda.

By K40 592 576
Captain (retired) Kevin C. Love, CD
The Royal Canadian Regiment

In the photographs
bodies of children
stacked like firewood
don't really stand out
against the lush green of the jungle
or the vivid red slash
of the road.

In the photos
all is still
and peaceful.

But there are some things
the photographs do not show.
The smell.
The movement
of the bodies
as they bloat
and gases rupture forth.
Or the flies.

In the photographs
the flies cannot be seen at all.
Not so in real life.

The flies are aggressive.
Fueled
with the blood
of the dead
one of them lands on my face.

I slap it.
The fly's body
bursts open.
The blood
of the dead children
splashes
across my face.

Unclean!
Unclean!
I am unclean!
For I am a man of war.
And I have the blood
of dead children
on my face.

Kyrie eleison.

Kevin is a professional accountant and a retired infantry officer with the Canadian Forces. Kevin keeps encountering people who were students of his father, Dr. Robert Love, who was a professor at MacMaster University from 1977-2008. He lives near Durand Park in Hamilton and is currently Vice-Chair of the Hamilton Cycling Committee.

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By Kevin (registered) | Posted November 11, 2015 at 17:14:13

Powerful piece. I’ve read it several times, today; Remembrance Day. Thank you for this and for your service.

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