*In loving memory of those we loved and lost on the night of August 13th, 2004 – Gatumba, Burundi

Fifteen years later 
Fifteen years without you
What still hurts is the how 
What still stings is the why 
How your souls were snatched away
Why your existence put a whole country 
On national emergency
Fifteen years later 
Fifteen years without justice
They saw us march 
They heard us scream
They watched us drown 
But nothing.
But silence.
As we celebrate you once again,
You should know a lot has happened. 
And so,
Quick update, 
Your daughters are growing. 
Your sons are thriving.
A legacy the world is living to witness.
We are here .
Not there yet. 
Here, nonetheless. 
Confused, maybe.
Scared, probably.
Unsure, a little. 
But here, still.
They did not kill us.
And if they did, we did not die. 
We refused a long time ago 
To let the genocide burry us.
We collected every last breath 
We journeyed through pain 
We gathered every bit of history left 
We crossed borders and oceans 
Now look at us, 
Carrying our crowns [oh] so beautifully 
This is for you
This is a thank you
For having existed in this lifetime 
We love you 
We miss you 
Until we meet again 
Rest in eternity 

-Marianne Murekatete 

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