Mariam de Haan

Rookie - 124 Points (04 October 1993 / Pemba, Tanzania)

Detainees - Poem by Mariam de Haan

Imagine a man who weighs as much as his age
34 kilos another 44.
But they're not anorexic
Not dying of disease, not sick!
They choose this.

Imagine being forced to feed
A tube shoved down your throat.
You want to vomit
But it wont come out.
Instead agony fills your chest and stomach
And the tube goes further, medical assistance they call it.

Imagine having never held your son
Samir wishes to start a family of his own.
Instead he's locked in a prison
Apparently for no reason,
When they looked through the evidence
They said he gets clearance.
Samir and 88 others,
Then why are they in their cells
Still waiting for a sentence?

Comments say Mandela was in prison but didn' lose his dignity.
Never went hungry.
But how else will they gain publicity?
Don't bring them to court, lock them in the heat.
Victims of what happened a decade in the past
9/11, your effects did last!
Yes once again I'm talking about the land of the 'free'.

They support human rights, justice and democracy.
But they've got a prison full of detainees,
Waiting for a trial since 2001 and now it's 2013.
Obama said I'm closing it
He didn't practise what he preached.

By now you know what this is about.
Yep, Guantanamo bay
A place where torture is committed everyday.
The prisoners might not be guilty but they're there to stay.
I'm just another pest who cares
While the world turns away.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

I wrote this after reading a letter from a prisoner of Guantanamo. You can find his story at, the title is 'Gitmo is killing me'.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Poem Edited: Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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