Poetry On Odyssey: Jean
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Poetry On Odyssey: Jean

If forgiveness can be found after the Rwandan genocide, why can't it be found in today's world?

Poetry On Odyssey: Jean


He's the oldest.


Both his parents are gone,

Now he's in charge of the house.

He can feel the responsibility sitting on his chest.

It crushes him, he can't breathe.

A family of eight lived in the village,

A family of Hutus, not Tutsis.

But they were targeted nonetheless.

"We were unjustly accused of hiding accomplices of the RPF. Our home was checked every day, and we were persecuted and beaten. My father was imprisoned but after three months, he escaped. Because I was the only son he had, he hid me so that I would not be killed."

In one day his entire life changed.

His head spinning from the confusion and terror.

Hiding with strangers ironically calmed him.

At least he was not alone, but his head would spin again.

"We then made it to Karitutu and it was there that I met a man named Gakuba, a friend of my father's. We hid together but the interahamwe discovered us. The interahamwe tied up Gakuba but they did not tie me up. They killed him in front of me. When they took their eyes off me, I escaped. I did not want to die like Gakuba. They fired three bullets but none hit me."

His legs finally gave out after hours of running.

Fire filled his lungs and he breathed out smoke.

He was alone for the first time in his life.

Actually alone.

"It was RPF soldiers that saved me. They took me to a camp in Kayonza. I learned there that my father, mother and my all sisters had been killed and thrown in a latrine."

He's the oldest.


Living in a house with other orphans.

Chained together in their pain.

Every day he must wake up and be a father,

A mother, and a sibling.

His childhood ripped away from him and thrown away in a latrine.

He didn't know how to push through the pain and then he found a way.

He found forgiveness.

"Through the gacaca reconciliation process, the killer of my family came to me for forgiveness I did not forgive him at that time because I had bitterness in my heart. If he comes now, I could forgive him. God said that, if we forgive, we would be forgiven. We have to show the killers that we are not like them, that we have a more noble character. I think that they have seen that they gained nothing from what they have done. Let us give them a human heart."

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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