1. Home
  2. Poetry Magazine
  3. Poems
  4. What Could Have Happened by Shailja Patel
What Could Have Happened

Related Poem Content Details

I doubt . . . this is where I find it extremely difficult . . . no government worth its salt plans to massacre its people. No. What could have happened is something went wrong when they were on the ground.
— Bethuel Kiplagat, Chair of  Kenya’s Truth,  Justice and Reconciliation
Commission, indicted for involvement in the 1984 Wagalla Massacre of
5,000 Somali Kenyans by the Kenyan government

Wa
gal
la

a howl the wind stole

Wa
ga
lla

tongues torn out at roots

wagallawagallawagallawa

a swallowing of children
thrust under thorn bushes
choked on dust

Wagalla

a city of silence
risen out of desert
built of bodies

Source: Poetry (March 2014)
  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

What Could Have Happened

Related Poem Content Details

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Other Information