Bitter State by Duranka Perera
I was angry when it happened.
I was angry when the numbers continued to rise.
I was angry when bitter tongues lashed old wounds.
I was angry when a dying monument drew more money than
the dying themselves.
I was angry when my words weren’t heard.
I was angry that I told to watch and wait till the dust had
settled, when all I wanted was to dive right in.
I was angry that I was here, safe, distant, impotent, that the
thought of wanting to do something meant feeding my ego
before the orphaned.
I was angry that three tragedies have crushed my country in my
I’m so angry that my voice is beginning to choke.
But I won’t stop shouting,
So long as there is hope.
© Duranka Perera, from SLAM! You’re Gonna Wanna Hear This, chosen by Nikita Gill, Macmillan, 2020