Wednesday, March 9, 2011

most precious thing

Her body sags in my arms

trickling sick with blood.

One hand in an ersatz wave

as if saying goodbye

to a most precious thing.

My joy, my desert flower, 

My breeze at midday

now crumpled, coated red;

wilting to the world.

Did you listen to this on NPR?

What matters so far? 

What matters in a world turned ragged and hard?

Did Fox News show you this? 

Drudge or CNN?

You will not see the picture, 

never ponder who’s sinned.

Never held in your arms

your most precious thing

stained brown, clotted and drying.


So far there’s been nothing

but heartbreak and regret, 

fired Peter Arnett for reporting in

with the real dividends of a war

that’s seen little liberation yet.


Your collateral damage

Was my most precious thing

now six feet in sand

but entombed in my memory.

You did say you came

to set her free.

Does any future or freedom for me 

matter more than her today?

* * *
I saw the above photo on a BBC website one morning after the initial attacks in Baghdad in 2003. As a father it sickened me to think about being in the same situation.

Our media does us wrong- this photo was from an American wire service, yet I saw it in no U.S. paper I read. Found it again on an Al
Jazeerah website. I think in the video game, news-at-10, rah-rah way we are presented the current war it is all too easy to forget that the Iraqi people are not monsters. Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. Saddam Hussein was a horrible dictator whom deserves whatever fate shall befall him. He victimized and exploited the Iraqi people. Now his fate is sealed. Buts is ours with him?
 

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