Written in 1999 just before the East Timorese vote for Independence.
Marie was killed covering another war in the Middle East.
You were a voice from inside Timor
when many had been silenced.
You stayed, when others skulked away
driven by fear of the militia.
You spoke for a people muted,
broadcast to Australia neutered.
Those who fled, fed our dread.
Your voice underlined our impotence.
But Australians listened,
your reports breed our impatience
with our Government’s inaction.
You told the story the world needed to hear.
Obrigado – I am obligated.
Copyright © 2023 John Tomlinson