I am a poor Southern woman
Knowing no peace since 1955.
The British, Egyptians and Arab Sudanese
Have wrecked my life and vision these 48 years.
When Iraq threatens Israel
Bombs are rained on Baghdad
And desert storm is created.
When Milosevic does unto his Muslims
What the Arab-Muslims do to us
The whole of Serbia is blown to shreds.
I have asked Clinton, Carter, Thatcher
To also look my way, after Whitehall
Had left the lamb in the tender care
Of the wily desert fox.
But I am no threat to Europe's interests;
I am no God's chosen child of Israel.
Now that Marxism is dead
We can't blackmail the West to do us some good.
The only weapon left for me to use
Is the poor aggrieved woman's abundant curses.
Here we go, then, cursing the West for all its sins:
May your women and men die from cancer
You who cannot die from landmines and bombs,
May the cars deplete your stock
You who live peacefully in air-conditioned rooms,
May the love of lucre derange your youth
You who amass wealth regardless of how obtained,
May obesity and over-gorging disease kill your people
You who have never known hunger these 48 years,
May your sons and daughters seek personal pains
You who scoff at my children's emaciated torsos,
May your children turn into family killers
You who do not care to eradicate injustices everywhere,
May derangement descend upon both your houses
You who take peasant hospitality for lack of sophistication,
May the Indian Gods, Aboriginal Gods, Eskimo Gods, Pygmy Gods
All combine to rain havoc on your people
Till you are brought low and recognise humility
You who strut like Gods,
May Kurds, Berbers, Tamils, Inuits, Chiapans
Call upon their Gods and Goddesses to stand by them
To ensure that the wrongs you introduced into our lands
Are all rectified
To our satisfaction!
And only when you have all become human
All human, and caring for my gleaned children
Then shall I lift this curse.
I, the widow Achol, have spoken,
Lifting my breasts up to Ngundeng.