for human rights workers

the event is crowded she takes his picture
they talk of human rights does she have an accent
“my country i came from my country at fifteen” she says
“that must have been hard” he says because
so many for years were murdered disappeared
“when you find out they were your parents’ friends” she says
“who was?” he says – but understood so fast
“the ones who did it them”
he says “that must have been…”
she shrugs “they are all very old now”
“but your country is still going after them” he says
“and successfully” meant as comfort
“they’re all senile -” she says – “they
say they’re senile to get out of it”
she is so young and all those who
will never come back are already gone from her life
he does not say it is against that weariness in her
he spends the years of his old age fighting

John Bart Gerald is a poet/journalist living in Montreal. He writes the website concerned with the prevention of genocide. Read other articles by J. B..