My Life/Her Life

My Life/Her Life ~ Poems by an alumnus of Bingham Academy, Ethiopia

I went away to America for 'furlough'
She went away to the fields.
I went to boarding school,
She stayed at home taking care of the goats and cows.
I went to college,
She went to the 'Zemicha'.
I traveled across the ocean to see my parents on holiday
She walked on foot and went by crowded bus on dusty roads to see her family.
My family fled at midnight in bandit territory,
Her family watched the army shoot people in cold blood.
I left all my things behind,
She lost her things in the same foul swoop that claimed mine.
I write on computer
She reads by candle-light.
I vowed not to have children because my little world was so unsafe
She has had 14 children, with five living now.
My grief is multi-faceted and few understand,
Her grief is private and untouched.
I have people to comfort me
She is alone.
I am Marion
She is Zoditu.

Marion Entz Harris, June 29, 2002

Marion grew up in Ethiopia attending Bingham Academy