Sunday, January 3, 2010

What living is worth

Not one heard
the hammer click back.
Not one could see that
with the barrel pointed,
it ran the length of her hairline;
barrel rammed hard into the soft spot just behind her ear.

Maybe she closed her eyes
and prayed with imaginary hands
(hers were bound behind her back).
Maybe she prayed to her God.
Maybe she thought of home
and said, “Mother, I love you,”
eyes closed to the pull of the trigger.

A sack arrived two days earlier
as iron plumes rose from black rivers
and burned out buildings.
She was told, “This is the best we can do, please eat.”
Rancid meat. Maggots and worms.
This is the best we can do, please eat.
But without firewood a fire could not burn
and without food she could not eat.

The sack that arrived two days earlier
was stamped USDA approved
and delivered.
This is the best we can do, please eat.
Except in her country
deliveries come too late.

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