Dear Daisy Zamora

(After Reading Riverbed of Memory)

I admit it
I am filled with guilt
We didn’t do enough back in the 80s
When the Reaganites were determined
To crush the Revolution
True, you might say, the Sandinistas were far from perfect
But nothing gets us off the meathook of historical responsibility
We  lacked the imagination of your intellectuals 
During the uprising against the decades-long US darling Somoza
We lacked the nerve to stay at it for decades
We came and went, devoted some hours
Some outrage
Some tears
I and my friends still should be serving jail terms for resisting
What the U.S. government was doing to your literacy workers
Your farmers and your women revolutionaries
We should have been more disruptive of the Congress
Which funded the terrorists who struck down your people
We sat-in
But we didn’t make business as usual impossible
We didn’t pay close enough attention to your revolution
You all made it impossible for Somoza to continue
I read your poems and I feel a slash
From my own conscience
Not from any judgmental words from you
In the South
To this Yankee in the North
I remember Bella Barahona, November 1984
She must now be 36
If she is still alive
She may be just getting by or faring much worse than one of your waitresses
Four of my students are now in Managua
To spend two months
Learning about your country
Its faith and history and struggle
When they return
I will tell them
The Struggle is One—
In Nicaragua and the USA–
And the Revolution only has hope for resurrection—
In Nicaragua and the USA–
When we re-member 
How we were then
The agents of crucifixion
Like we are again
In a land named Iraq.

–Sunday 18 May 2008

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