Thursday, February 25, 2010
THE UNSUNG HERO
(Dedicated to all those that put their weapons down during the Post-election Violence...were humane enough to spare a life)
By Stephen Derwent Partington
" We praise the man who,
though he held the match between
his finger and his thumb,
beheld the terror of its tiny drop of phosphorous,
its brown and globoid smoothness
like a charred and tiny skull
and so returned it to its box.
So too, we hail the youth who,
though he took his panga on the march,
perceived it odd within his fist
when there was neither scrub
nor firewood to be felled,
so laid it down.
An acclamation for the man who,
though he saw the woman running, clothing torn,
and though he lusted,
saw his mother in her youth,
restrained his colleagues
We pay our homage to the man who,
though his heart was like a stone
and though he took a stone to cast,
could feel its hardness in the softness of his palm
and grasped the brittleness of bone,
so let it drop.
We laud the man who,
though he snatched to scrutinize
the passenger’s I.D.,
saw not the name – instead, the face –
and slid it back
as any friend might slide his hand to shake a friend’s.
And to the rest of us,
may you never have to be that man,
but if you have to,
Stephen Derwent Partington is a teacher and writer based near Machakos. He has previously published a poetry collection, SMS & Face to Face, in Kenya. His poetry and academic prose has appeared in various respectable publications, and he is at present a contributing member of the group, Concerned Kenyan Writers for Justice.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.