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The curses of the widow Achol / Les malediccions de la vídua Achol

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.


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