Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Five Years In: Iraqi Words

In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, a long war, and the nameless, faceless, dead:


Relative to our plans for your country,
we will blast your tree, crush your cart,
stun your grocery.
Amen sisters and brothers,
give us your sesame legs,
your satchels, your skies.
Freedom will feel good
to you too. Please acknowledge
our higher purpose. Now, we did not see
your bed of parsley. On St. Patrick's Day
2003, President Bush wore a blue tie. Blinking hard
he said, "reckless aggression."
He said, "the danger is clear."
Your patio was not visible in his frame.
Your comforter stuffed with wool
from a sheep you knew. He said, "We are
against the lawless men who
rule your country, not you." Tell that
to the mother, the sister, the bride,
the proud boy, the peanut-seller,
the librarian careful with her shelves.
The teacher, the spinner, the sweeper,
the invisible village, the thousands of people
with laundry and bread, the ants tunneling
through the dirt.

-Naomi Shihab Nye (You and Yours)

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