5213 Glen Vista dr Garland
United States
48° 50' 55.0932" N, 122° 35' 35.5632" W

Dear Eskinder Nega,



Before today your name held no meaning

I did not think of you for I was still naive 

I foolishly assumed that I had such great wisdom

But Eskinder, that I can no longer believe 


My mind was filled with false ideals of courage

To think that I claimed to understand pain!

Not to mention my fallacies on resilience 

Oh! How proud I was of my brain


When I first saw your face on that paper 

While I read those numbing lines

I felt pieces of my self made armor crumble

As I gazed into your penetrating eyes 


You called out as if to say,

“Why do you only sit idly by?

Look! See what I’ve done for my country. 

Tears will help no one yet still you cry.”


It is true, Eskinder, every single word.

I am undoubtably guilty of the crime

For while my dear Ethiopia lay bleeding

I merely turned my head and said it would heal with time


I left my beautiful homeland in her hour of need

While the government released torrents of violence on crowds

For simply speaking their minds and exercising their rights

I closed off my ears while they screamed aloud


But I can be silent no more

Ethiopia’s once noble streets

Have been bloodied by innocents

The people of Ethiopia must no longer feel the weight of the government’s crushing feet


Eskinder, you have risked everything

To inform the world of the atrocities

Of the barbaric Ethiopian regime 

You gave up family, life, and safety

And even refused pardon until you achieved your dream


A brighter Ethiopia

More democratic and fair

One Ethiopians would be proud of

In which you could speak freely without care


I now long to help bring about this realty 

I vow to commit myself to this goal:

That until Ethiopia has been freed from her shackles

I will not rest this fiery passion that burns within my soul


I will write letters and make speeches

I will call embassies and implore

I will inform students and teachers

But I will not stop until Ethiopia is freed once more


Thank you for giving me a purpose

Thank you for helping me understand

That change requires the action 

Of every single woman and man 


                                      Sincerely, Ruth Aklilu

This poem is about: 
My country
Our world


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