Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Poem by Rose Mary Boehm


Bagua.  Peru.  2009.
The government of Peru's intended implementation of the Free Trade Agreement (zoning 72% of the Peruvian Amazon for development and exploration) between Peru and the US led to violent repression of peaceful protests at Bagua.

Bodies float in rivers.
Women are sacrificing their lives
for the Amazon jungle they call home.
Women are mourning
their men and their children.

Oil wells and rainforests,
uneasy bedfellows
in each other's tricksy embrace,
with profit the sole measure of progress.

Killed in the streets,
guardians of the green roofs;
their crime
concern for their earth.

There's always the official line:
terrorist organizations
duped thousands
of these stupid women,
brainless farmers
and other indigenous low-life
into opposing progress.

The locals won for now.
We owe them.

They protest
their displacement
in the interests of the bottom line,

while US Congress is pushing a new model plan
that looks remarkably like the old one.

A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru.  Author of Tangents, a poetry collection published in the UK in 2010/2011, her work has been widely published in US poetry journals (online and in print).  She was twice winner of the Goodreads monthly competition, and a new poetry collection is earmarked for publication in May/June in the US.

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