Un-Happy Anniversary — 1 Comment

  1. a soul-searing cry from the heart commemorating the 10th anniversary of the HORRIFIC war on Iraq
    The War Works Hard

    How magnificent the war is!
    How eager
    and efficient!
    Early in the morning,
    it wakes up the sirens
    and dispatches ambulances
    to various places,
    swings corpses through the air,
    rolls stretchers to the wounded,
    summons rain
    from the eyes of mothers,
    digs into the earth
    dislodging many things
    from under the ruins . . .
    Some are lifeless and glistening,
    others are pale and still throbbing . . .
    It produces the most questions
    in the minds of children,
    entertains the gods
    by shooting fireworks and missiles
    into the sky,
    sows mines in the fields
    and reaps punctures and blisters,
    urges families to emigrate,
    stands beside the clergymen
    as they curse the devil
    (poor devil, he remains
    with one hand in the searing fire) . . .
    The war continues working, day and night.
    It inspires tyrants
    to deliver long speeches,
    awards medals to generals
    and themes to poets.
    It contributes to the industry
    of artificial limbs,
    provides food for flies,
    adds pages to the history books,
    achieves equality between killer and killed,
    teaches lovers to write letters,
    accustoms young women to waiting,
    fills the newspapers
    with articles and pictures,
    builds new houses
    for the orphans,
    invigorates the coffin makers,
    gives grave diggers
    a pat on the back
    and paints a smile on the leader’s face.
    The war works with unparalleled diligence!
    Yet no one gives it
    a word of praise.
    by Dunya Mikhail, Iraqi poet exiled in 1995, received UN Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing in 2005; translated from the Arabic by Elizabeth Winslow.

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