Poem: Berta Cáceres

Berta Cáceres

by Greg Kennedy SJ

a woman
a man
and, when it comes to the tired madness
of hierarchy,
none of the above.

a river’s daughter,
a warrior’s son
and a grandmother
turned iron on a hill
overlooking peace
where lighting always falls
hard striking.

she broke into song,
broke open the song in us,
was broken by the wizened power,
old as voices,
that never has comprehended singing.

yet being forever broken
into and open
her song will not silenced be;
just as waters never cease
to bead
on the cheeks of leaves
nor to seek
their way downhill
pooling together
in depth and strength.


Greg Kennedy SJ works in the spiritual exercises ministry at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ontario. He obtained his Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Javeriana University in Bogata, Colombia. This poem is reproduced with permission; it first appeared in the igNation blog on 12 September 2017.

(Banner photo taken in Honduras by L. Hansen)