Kenya/Can You/Will We?

In 2007, we were driving from western Kenya to Nairobi, and came across an accident scene.  That night, these words flowed.  They speak to our passion and the spirit of so much of what we strive for. 

Kenya/Can you/Will we?
                                             - Brad Ogilvie
Beautiful Country
Hard Country
Dead dog on the roadside, killed by a car
Dead Child on the roadside, killed by a car
People Standing
People Staring, No sign of an ambulance
Witnessing doesn't change the truth
It changes your truth
About the world as it is
So, as we return
To our world of healthclubs
of coffee shops
of playdates,
of resorts, vacations, and therapy
and massages and healing arts
How do we never forget
That we are one world
That Kenya exists everyday
But not only in Kenya,
at home as well.
People die from AIDS at home
People acquire HIV at home
And we say "but it's Africa that matters"
We now are the Kenyans of America
Waiting, watching
For the ambulance that doesn't come.
How do we become that ambulance
That responds to that child of humanity that we all see
That is lying at our feet.
But instead, we look away
we analyze and study
We gaze overseas or deep within
Never realizing we see the same thing
Never making the connection
that when we start from afar
or deep within, and don't look between
we must sidestep the child
That is lying at our feet.
How did that child get there?
Who is this child?
Was he a boy, or was she a girl?
Was he gay or was she straight?
Would she have been a doctor
or would he have been a drug addict?
If I could have prevented this,
would it matter?
Should it matter, if
I can stop another child from lying dead at my feet?
To look in horror,
To look away,
To shake our heads,
To say "That's another world" or "That's not my concern"
Will not do.
We cannot save this dead child at our feet.
It is the next one, and the next one
That matter now, in Kenya, in Chicago, in Salt Lake,
in Wheaton, in Washington
So that we no longer stand and stare at the dead child
That is lying at our feet.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <p> <span> <div> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <img> <map> <area> <hr> <br> <br /> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <table> <tr> <td> <em> <b> <u> <i> <strong> <del> <ins> <sub> <sup> <quote> <blockquote> <pre> <address> <code> <cite> <embed> <object> <param> <strike> <caption> <tbody>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.