Featured Poet: Heather Sadiechild Harris

Heather Sadiechild Harris is a writer who has been featured in an anthology which also, for better or worse, included some of my essays and poems.  This anthology, The Milk of Female Kindness: An Anthology of Honest Motherhood, is the brainchild of Kasia James and has been a really collaborative and international effort to include a wide variety of perspectives on motherhood — the kind of perspectives that aren’t necessarily shared in the mainstream media.  While I’m proud to have been included in the book and also think it’s just a wonderful collection of works by some stunningly excellent women, one of my favorite things about that project is the community it spawned of the women involved in the project (authors, editors, etc.).  You may expect to see the poems of several of the authors from that anthology featured here on my blog this month.

Here’s the introduction of today’s featured poem, written by the author herself:

“This came from seeing many child soldiers in my working travels. A lot of young girls are child soldiers sacrificing their lives, and their sacrifice goes unnoticed. Other parts of the reflection relate to the various wars in West Africa over the years and the atrocities committed in the name of commerce. This is to acknowledge all those children who have fought in wars and who still are fighting today.”


Child Soldier


She got a new toy, she play wi’ da big boys
She’s got a big gun, no more little girl fun
No more neighbourhood, no more playin’ childhood
No more bein’ good, even if she still could.
Girl soldier fight hard, girl soldier die hard
Little girl won’t be miss, lots of other girls to kiss.

Not much to choose here, not much to lose here
Livin’ in da enclave, big soldier’s sex slave.
Short sleeve, long sleeve, child soldier can’t leave
Short leg, no leg, make dem refugees beg.
Ya Mama misses you too, but what can ya Mama do?
She gotta feed the bruddas, tha deal for da muddas

Yeah she’s a fighter, she didn’t get to travel far,
But there’s oil for ya shiny car, blood stained diamonds for ya.
And coltran for ya Nokia.
She gone wid da boys, she gone wid da big boys
She gone, gone, gone.


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