Wednesday, March 21, 2007

By Don Iannone

Never been to Iraq.
No desire to go there--
at least not until
things get a whole lot better.

The killing there must stop!
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

Baghdad (بغداد Baġdād) is just a place
on a map to me, but I
can feel the pain there,
and the many other war-torn places
where children die, even before
they have a chance to live.

I look at the horrifying pictures
everyday in the paper
of dead people--
people whose hearts used to beat
like yours and mine.

Words are one thing, but
the pictures are the worst.
So many young soldiers--ours and theirs
--hiding behind their uniforms, and their guns
that separate them
from the people they kill.

Both sides--all sides--that kill are wrong.
They always have been--in all wars,
not just this one.
I am not naïve...I have looked death
straight in the face...
I know it's hideous smile.

Have you ever asked yourself
what war means?
What DOES it mean?
Don't trouble yourself too long
for a dressy answer
that you hope makes you half accept
what happens to people in places like Iraq.

War means just one thing:
Justification to kill
for reasons that will always
be buried in the small print--
the very smallest print possible, which
nobody can read, even in their native language.

If you're dying to know--
go to Iraq,
or flashback forty years to Vietnam.
Substitute a hot steamy jungle
for a bone dry desert, and there you have it.
Killing is killing, and
dying is dying.

When will we ever learn?


J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I don't want to go to Iraq, either!

Pat Paulk said...

It is very sad. I saw on the news this morning where "insurgents/terrorists/displaced Sunnis are starting to use children as suicide bombers.

Dan said...


polona said...

not too long ago things like that happened in our neighbourhood...
really, when will we ever learn?!

Rob said...

Your poem moves me.
One feels helpless about the situation.

Don Iannone said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. What can I say? When will we ever learn?

iamnasra said...

عراق as we call it in Arabic, has been shattered ~ but it does not seem to end here it will continue much longer ~ this breaks my heart

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