“The Colonel” is a poem of witness because it focuses on the human rights violations in El Salvador, but most importantly because it has revealed the ways in which a tragic event such as a civil war can leave a mark upon the imagination. It also brought me consolation at a time when I felt hurt in the aftermath of the civil war, when I finally realized that here was an American voice coming from the same country that exploited my own and she was recognizing my countrymen’s plight. Today it reminds me of the complexities of my safety and comfort in living in this country. It also caught my attention because it’s a poem without being a poem and that’s a trick hard to pull off. It gave me the courage to tell my own story in English.