Naomi Benaron


Before I left Kigali

I went to the Genocide Memorial

to buy a purple bracelet

It was just before a grenade

exploded at the entrance

killing a policeman

My friends and I might

have passed the man

who tossed it –

I might have even waved

muraho through the window

at the moment our paths crossed

I said goodbye to my friends

and got on the plane

before any of us knew

The bracelet says

Never Again

It goes well with my green one

that says Darfur: Not on My Watch

But it is on my watch

And it is Again

and Again
............................ and Again.

Naomi Benaron’s short story collection, Love Letters from a Fat Man won the 2006 G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for fiction. Her novel was short-listed for the 2008 Bellwether Prize. Her poetry has appeared in Cutthroat Journal and Flashquake. She writes, teaches, and protests in Tucson Arizona.

(author retains copyright)