My Congolese Foster Son


You are the brave one I will never forget.
Simple words you speak in this new language- English- do not reveal your trauma.
A Congolese refugee- a people intimate with anguish.
Your birth did not bring shouts of joy in the overcrowded camp.
No, you were one of a million, just another mouth to feed in that hellhole called home.
And yet, the hope of America offered to your family!
The joy of new beginnings was overshadowed by your grandmother’s wails;
Good-byes are never easy when they are forever.

Resettled in the ghetto.
Drugs and prostitution out your front door.
Is this the Promised Land of America?
You tell me that you miss the camp where your friends played in the mud.
“We had no toys, so we made our own.”
Now you must spend your time indoors where it is “safe”.
The dark apartment offers protection, but feels like prison.
An African child in Tennessee-
What is your destiny?
What can it be?

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