God is good,
say the Christians of Adjumani.
God is good,
And provides for us.

In the refugee compound of Northern Uganda
the earth is powder,
the moment vulnerable
and future unlikely.
Efforts to cultivate
are susceptible not only to
rot and disease
but the brute cruelty
of the warlords’gangs.

God is good, say the Christians of Adjumani
And they will not be persuaded otherwise.
Look, they say,
in this year of execrable drought
(when the crops have either died on the stalk
or been hacked and burnt by the rampagers,)
look, they say,
It is clear that in a year of extremity
God responds extremely
and puts all
the vitamins,
and beauty
into the wondrous
whose tree this season is laden,
burdened with the responsibility of burgeoning
for and of all creation,
bowing to the ground
to the Creator,
and whose fruit,
the ovoid gold sweet velvet
with the tangy heart
is replete
with the juice
we need for life.
When someone tells me this story,
a world away where mangoes
are delivered in boxes,
I want to say
They can’t be serious-
What kind of logic,
what kind of attribution
is this?
I do not espouse this god who,
if showing off with one tree
must be similarly held accountable
that children are starved and abducted.
But I hear the awe in her voice,
the one who has been there,
And I know, despite the human shortfall
in any god language,
there is a truth
in this story somewhere.

Suffering / Poverty