“Mezeker Means To Remember” Mike Ellis (Def Poetry)

“Mezeker Means To Remember” Mike Ellis (Def Poetry)
August 16, 2011 Ruchir

Ethiopia 1978
what does a women do when she gives birth to a beautiful baby girl
after her brother is murdered
and the government demands a hundred dollars to pay for the bullets they used to bruise his body
that women names that baby that would one day become my best friend
because in Ethiopia’s an hard language mezeker means to remember
now remember death is a way of life
you can’t avoid strife and still next persons struggle is so often worse
in the context of the universe I wonder does my story even worth a versus
so many of us race through history chasing this one mystery
who has suffered the most misery
now I get confused was it the Blacks or the Jews,
Indian, Asians or some obscure group of Caucasians
on this occasion save your idealistic phrases like, “there is only one human race”
naww this here is a competition
everybody state you case
cause somebody got to stand first place right?
I don’t need the grand prize for pity
I can go overseas or simply ride thru the city
and see that my standard of living is better than nine tenths of the planet
so when I am up here slamming poetry
refugees of many nationalities are slamming me for the opportunities I take for granted If, if indeed I believe that collectively black people have suffered like no other
can I personally say I have suffered more than a fourteen year old white Bosnian boy
who promised to uphold his dead mothers last request
to protect his ten year old sister from the soldiers that slashed her dress
tied him up with wire made him watch them steal moms promise now he feels like a liar that’s a lot for a kid to carry on their own
so no I don’t have a self pity the world owes me apology and I refuse to move on poem because mezeker means to remember that most tsunami victims don’t have a home
and by the way that includes the Somalians’ and Kenyans’ the new coverage never mentioned mezeker means I must remember to mention
that those malnourished kids with visible ribs you see on TV
never make fat jokes or go start riots
but they don’t have sympathy for any folks on the latest low carb diet
mezeker means most politicians ought to try it
before telling a teen child taking care of her six siblings alone
that selling crack just ain’t worth the risk
know you ain’t got no mom and dad
but just go on back to them projects
with rats and roaches and wait until a great opportunity approaches
you should know this
death is a way of life you cannot avoid strife
and still the next persons struggle is so often worse
in the context of the universe your story is worth a verse
but mezeker means to remember


  1. Iliwa 5 years ago

    I’m in love with this poem. Sooo good. 😀

  2. ET 4 years ago

    Hey just to let you know he says “in ethiopia’s AMHARIC language … ” not an hard

    • ET 4 years ago

      And, thank you very much for the post I love this poem.

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