Sunday, March 25, 2007

White Crosses

Reality Breaking Apart, Iraq © 2003, by Alan Pogue

Reality Breaking Apart
(written just before the invasion of Iraq)

In a hospital in Basra, just before more
bombs leach depleted uranium into water, air, soil,
through bed sheets, black robes and white scarves,
filling children’s bodies with fast cancer and leukemia —

reality is breaking apart.

Depleted uranium is an idiot phrase.

Uranium does not decontaminate.
In a hospital in Basra
reality is breaking apart.

A child has just died.

Her family has come to the hospital every day
for two years.

An instant ago, the mother, shrieking —
cast herself across the child’s chest —
Now she pulls against the edges of reality.

More bombs will drop tomorrow.

The family may survive, or not.

Either way —

They will live with reality
ripping apart forever.

* And here is a profoundly powerful video by Chun Pan about Jessica Rich, an Iraq vet suffering from PTSD, The Last Time I Saw Jessica Rich.

© Susan Bright, 2003, published in The Layers of Our Seeing, link below.

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

Announcement: The Plain View Press e-store has just gone online.


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