|Dr. Mukwege with Congolese family|
Dr. Mukwege sews and sews,
hunting for the pieces of Alfonsine’s bladder.
Dark circles lengthen under his eyes,
that yang look, hardened really,
born of living closely with viciousness every day.
“Sometimes you go on your best guess,” he says.
Alfonsine is newly arrived to Panzi Hospital.
After her rape,
the perpetrator blew his shotgun into her body.
How could she survive?
But then, one day, lifting one tired and jaundiced eye,
Dr. Mukwege glimpses her on the hospital grounds.
This is the day she sang and danced!
She lifts her face and looks Dr. Mukwege in the eye.
“I feel like a big person in my community,”
“I can do something for my people.
Women must lead our country. They know the way.”
Congo, emerald jewel of Africa’s plenitude.
Dr. Mukwege raises his head from sewing, sewing,
the intricate patching of torn flesh.
He hears the song that joins the women’s power
to the earth and sky:
“I will never be ashamed.
God gave me a new heart that I can be strong.”
September 2, 2007
Thanks to the work of Eve Ensler for introducing me to the work of Dr. Mukwege, who has just been granted the Nobel Peace Prize.
Out of their work arose the City of Joy, a safe community for survivors of violence in the Congo.
|Dr. Mukwege at Panzi Hospital (V-Day)|