I Am Managua

In the calm I stand waiting

In the breeze I call the storm

I call the darkest clouds

and with them lightning

and soon the rain

the torrents of rain

I remind you that I have weathered many storms

more than once the earth has shaken beneath my feet

more than once the crowds have revolted in my streets

more than once my sons have taken up arms against each other

they have given in to wars not their own

they have lived a nightmare for someone else's dream

my leaders have risen and fallen

some stole and stood aloof

some served and stood alone

my children suffered in the midst of it all

and I received their mothers' tears

I felt every moment of pain.


When the calm returns I stand waiting

In the breeze I call for change

In the clouds I ask for help

In the lightning I cry for hope

and in the rain, in the torrents of rain, I plead for mercy

and yet my past haunts me

You need not be afraid of me

You need not be threatened by me

and yet you feel the hurt and isolation

you sense my emptiness

You look for my soul, my being,

but it elludes you

I am traumatized, decentralized

I am in pain

I am Managua.

 (I wrote this poem in 1998 after six tough days in the capital of Nicaragua.)

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