The war surrounds this place. Stages
night raids on boarding school gates,
forcing soldiers of the underaged
to swell the ranks of the LRA.
’Round here, fireworks are weapons-grade,
ordinance displays auger the end of day.
While the rest of us would tremble, quake –
these residents resist with dancing displays.
There is no artist who can capture the artistry
of these swiftly moving feet, the dancing in the street,
two-stepping to the other side of… fear.
There is music everywhere:
six men play a twenty-one-foot xylophone.
The generator powers a radio.
Life in these streets bubbles on overflow.
Their response to guns is to dance,
tango ’round bomb blasts,
twirl and sway past dud grenades
’til their rhythm of resistance
makes child’s play of war games.
They will trace the cadence of liberation
in loose movement of body over music,
use djembes to drown out
the sound of war drums, ’til
every day becomes a party,
each beating of feet raising
two fingers to meet the
violence night brings.
Fear can be a choice you make,
resistance is a mental state
and this place will never capitulate
’cause when the new day breaks –
those left begin dancing.