my friend left our village
to come back for me
what they paid him could be for me
just follow and stay together
as we had done all our childhood

my father and I planted our last seeds
he never saw that they didn't sprout

my mother walks an hour back and forth
the village well dried up two years ago

I wanted to start a business
my forms never left the bottom of the pile

my friend and I celebrated
our reunification
we took selfies
posing with our AK-47 and a captured M240
tomorrow my first raid


In his book Water, Security and U.S. Foreign Policy, published in 2017, Professor Marcus King from the George Washington University wrote a chapter on the linkages between water stress, instability, and violent extremism. In 2019, Gen. (ret.) Middendorp and Bergema published a blog on how violent extremism is fueling climate change. This poem explores declining livelihood conditions and the decision to join an armed rebellion.