By Cameron Conaway
“Roughly one in ten children will suffer from neurological impairment after cerebral malaria, be it epilepsy, learning disability, changes in behaviour, loss of coordination or impairments to speech. As well as being discomforting physically, these problems can also lead to stigmatisation in the community and can reduce individuals’ capacity for work, imposing an additional economic burden.”4
the doctor said and it dispersed
slick through thick air
shuttling sound away
from mouth mutating it to mean.
A compliment in another place
here a death sentence this time
to a tribe full of other times.
There a strong man
whose great ideas
cannot be said
a lone umbrella acacia alone. Here
a girl of ten confused why her arms won’t raise
when she’s asked to raise them
and her baby brothers.
A tribe muscled
where cured malaria leaves
trails like listening.
About the Author
Cameron Conaway is the Social Justice Editor at The Good Men Project. He was the 2011-2012 Poet-in-Residence at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Thailand and the 2007-2009 Poet-in-Residence at the University of Arizona’s MFA Creative Writing Program. His work has appeared or been reviewed in ESPN, The Huffington Post, Rattle, Teach Magazine, Möbius The Australian, Cosmopolitan and the Ottawa Arts Review, among others. His first book of poems, “Until You Make the Shore,” was released in Winter 2013 from Salmon Poetry. For more information visit CameronConaway.com.
4. Neurological damage from malaria. Ian Jones. 06/12/2002. http://malaria.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD023883.html