My Friend Hush

I wrote this poem in support of Hush Ainebyona. You can read her story and donate to her fundraising appeal here.

My friend Hush is good and kind
And fair and just – and going blind

From boy to woman, Hush had grown
Rejection, hatred always known
My friend Hush tried to escape
A cycle of abuse and rape
Went to college, couldn’t stay
Worked Kampala’s streets for pay

My friend Hush went to meet a friend
But the friend brought a friend and a nasty end
My friend Hush was pushed to the floor
And punched and kicked and punched some more
My friend Hush cried out in vain
As her eyes filled up with blood and pain

Hush hid out for two long days
Away from the thugs’ and bigots’ gaze
When Hush told police of this crime of hate
They didn’t bother to investigate
And only certain doctors treat
A social outcast, badly beat

Now my friend Hush is going blind
As blind as the prejudice in those small, mean minds
And the government that stands behind
Politics and prejudice, the ties that bind
I have too many poems about hate crimes
That’s too many crimes, not too many rhymes

But Hush, don’t worry, you have friends
From round the globe, support extends
Hush, my friend, you are not alone
If you could see the love you’re shown
Strength in common, not charity
For surgery and solidarity

My friend Hush will see once more
Stand proud against the bigots’ law
My friend Hush is brave and wise
We’ll open my friend Hush’s eyes
We’ll battle, campaign, speak out and tell –
And open Uganda’s eyes as well

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