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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Sacred Shame Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Remish, Zambia Apr 15, 2008
Health   Poetry


Will you help me to get out of this Sacred Shame?
Will you not ridicule me in the name of religion?
Will you not treat the devil and I the same?
Or make me an alien in my own region?
This shame that one like me should not suffer from my illness.
Others have already in their minds despised me
They treat me like dirt for my own problem.

The church? Which church?
The church itself has become a tool for disgrace in disguise
The church has put aside God's judgment
For they with fury and wrath have judged me,
Preaching that I deserve death in pain
That lessons of I and my disease remain
They push me against the wall
And wish me dead quickly like birds hit with flu
Yet my story remains true.

That during my time as a virgin,
One of your sacred men came in.
He considered not his or my status
Against my wish he forced himself on me.
Cry? Who would I cry to?
He demanded that I keep the quiet,
And share my horror to no other.
I sat to cry but tears came not,
I blamed myself for my own curse.

Tell? Who would believe me?
That a sacred man did the profane?
That it is because of sacred profanity
I am a stranger in my own backyard,
A refugee in the land of my birth?
That I am friends with shame?
Would they believe me?

May I make do with this shame?
May I learn that it is me and not them who has HIV
Lest I forever wallop in this Sacred Shame!
No more shall I cry! No more shall I be ashamed!
It is not my fault! Ad their shame forever be theirs!



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Remmy is a young male HIV and gender activist in Southern Africa. He has presented different papers and abstracts at different conferences. Although he is still studying, Remmy is proactive in the fight against HIV; he has led his fellow youths in advocacy campaigns and now coordinates a project called 'Men n' Gender'. Remmy is currently the GYCA National Focal Point Person for Zambia.
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