Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Afghanistan



I was not there
when on his quick road to hell
he detonated the bomb,
death strapped to his chest
like a medal for martyrs.

I was not there
when you offered prayers at the mosque,
did not hear the explosion,
did not sink into blackness,
did not wake to the horror,
did not see as you tried
to piece your children’s bodies together,
did not see you searching for limbs,
little body parts scattered
as if confetti of war. 

I was not there;
your screams passed without hearing,
your pain without feeling,
I just didn’t know.

I was not there but have read of you,
now know of your story,
know your grief is enormous,
know you sink into sadness,
know you can’t afford surgery,
know that poverty steals you,
know you still pick glass from the soles of your feet.

I was not there but have read of you,
I am moved by your story. 
I think of you, feel for you,
picture the horror in my mind.

The terrible truth is that although moved,
soon I will  unconsciously filter you out.
My thoughts will become full of a new outrage,
a new disaster    or petty things,
little petty things that don’t matter at all.

This is the scheme of things;
this is how we operate – to stay sane,
to not be constantly afraid… to have hope…
to deal with the next day and whatever it brings.

I wish you had this choice. 

Anna

Written for Susan’s Midweek Motif at Poets United where she asks us to write about Truth, thanks for the inspiration Susan.

Also shared with the good folk at Real Toads, hosted by Rommy – cheers Rommy, and also the good folk at dVerse - cheers for hosting Grace.

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

26 comments:

Gillena Cox said...

A very moving poem Anna; we who were not there are still drawn in by its sad reports.

much love...

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Such an incredibly potent and heart wrenching poem, Anna!

Jim said...

Very poignant, Anna. The survivors have to be in terrible grief. Quick road to Hell indeed, he missed the suffering too, he thinks he will be a hero in Heaven. WRONG!!!
..

brudberg said...

I wonder if we could bear all the grief... maybe if we could see a bit of joy as well, also the fact that distance makes such difference... when it happens here we change our facebook pictures... in Afghanistan we barely notice.

annell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
annell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
annell said...

(I am sorry, I have made a mess of my intention of making a comment. I couldn't delete, so I made another comment, then I could delete, what an adventure.)

A wonderful sad poem.

Toni Spencer said...

We were not there at Hiroshima, Pearl Harbor, My Lai, 911, the bombings of mosques and churches, the shootings at schools - but truth was there sweeping up the debris. A powerful write Anna. thank you.

Rommy said...

Dang. This was raw in its honestly. It was a strong reminder (and rebuke) to those of us who could be speaking out more.

Carrie Van Horn said...

This is poignant and powerful Anna. A true reflection of someone with a big heart. Your big heart shows in the thoughts here. A truly moving poem!!

Robert Bourne said...

some raw truth here... we let the 24 hour news cycle blur our vision... a constant moving cycle here today gone tomorrow

Steve Green said...

Much as we may desire to be, we are not our brother's(or sister's) keeper... Self interest dominates our motives... Very interesting and thought provoking piece...

Magaly Guerrero said...

And that's the horror of it. We can (and do) hurt for what happens to other. But when is not our arm that is blown to pieces, it is terribly easy to forget how hard it must be to live without fingers.

Kim Russell said...

A powerful poem, Anna. We have strong feelings about the suffering of others but, ultimately:
'The terrible truth is that although moved,
soon I will unconsciously filter you out.
My thoughts will become full of a new outrage,
a new disaster or petty things,
little petty things that don’t matter at all'.

Thotpurge said...

Fabulous Anna.. true, timely and heartbreaking and that last line is too good. I loved this poem. Thanks for writing it.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh, Anna, you have NAILED it. The story of one person brings home to us the horrors in which so many millions live as we go about our peaceful and privileged days. And so true, we go on to the next and the next "story", we are inundated with them, hard to hold any one of these horrors in our mind for very long. A very important poem, this is. Thank you for writing it and helping us grasp one person's nightmare which is multiplied by so many more.

Sara McNulty said...

This is a powerful, and honest poem. We can shed tears for those who have lived in nightmares, but then there is something new to rant about, which is sad in itself.

Susan said...

OMG! This is THE TRUTH. "confetti of war" It falls, I empathize, I morve on. Such is the separatism here in the USA. OMG. My new favorite of all of your poems, dear Anna. Thank you So MUCH! Sharing.

Mary said...

This is truth! Wow, this is poetry!

Grace said...

Indeed a moving story, dear Anna ~ I can only pray and hope for the best for them ~

kaykuala said...

to not be constantly afraid… to have hope…
to deal with the next day and whatever it brings.

I wish you had this choice.

Perhaps they are misunderstood. They may not have the choice but to do it. They have been subjected to pain and sufferings and no one seems to care

Hank

Sumana Roy said...

Powerful words Anna! Humans know how to ruin this planet and bring about misery everywhere.

Frank Hubeny said...

Well described I especially liked use of "medal": "death strapped to his chest
like a medal for martyrs."

Mother Wintermoon said...

Real, raw and heartbreaking. Thank you for this deeply moving and powerful poem.

Vivian Zems said...

This is perfect. I’ve always thought how modern technology has jaded our minds to the daily horrors.
We protect our minds by not dwelling too long on the horrors before us.
Made easy by pressing a remote control button.

This line struck me “...as if confetti of war...”

Jenny Woolf said...

A devastating final line, and truth all the way through. A wonderful poem.