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The Doctors in Hell

AP Photo/Dar Yasin

The Doctors in Hell

By Ro Mayyu Ali
RB Poem
December 13, 2017

We are a Muslim people, a minority
Once boasting of our tradition and history
But the structure of our house
Where we have resided for generations
Groans beneath the weight of race and religion
And the chauvinism of our junta’s oppression 

It was 1978 in Burma
When the state-sponsored virus infected us
Our symptoms were undeniable
Their cause identifiable
But doctors ignored our suffering
The infection flared with time

In 1992's Myanmar
The disease ravaged our people
And one quarter million forced to leave 
Physicians at last turned their heads
But dismissed, upon examination
Our ongoing extermination
The doctors thought of virus's otherness 
But not the dying patients' goodness 

Our disease progressed to a second stage
In 2012 a heart-stopping crisis
At last a diagnosis was pronounced:
“Systematic killing and racial hatred”
The doctors saw us in our cage
But chose again to disengage
Neither the defense to virus yet
Nor the arrangement of ICU for us

The more the time lagged on
The more the virus spread
From citizenship denied
To killings they tried to hide
Again and again the cycle worsened
While doctors turned their eyes blind
From crimes against humanity
We moved to ethnic cleansing
We are a “text-book example”
Yet the text prescribes no treatment

August 25 delivered us to the final stage
The virus consumes our bodies
And invades out our souls
From hidden killings to genocide
We have progressed without treatment
While doctors avert their gaze

About the poem: The metaphors in this poem portray the inaction of global leaders for Myanmar's genocidal operations against Rohingya people. The poet, himself a Rohingya, feels that the atrocities on Rohingya have been happening in open eyes of the world without required intervention.

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