STONES INSTEAD OF ROSES, PABLO
They were surprised by the fetid sounds of war.
They were surprised by the trembling earth.
They were surprised by their quaking limbs.
And soon everything seemed to be exploding,
the air, the ground... Her children’s blood
gushed from the earth instead of oil
destroying smiles and tears and bone.
It’s been exploding ever since,
dirty bombs, shredding metal,
and from them flesh and bone.
Liberators with gun and grenade,
redeemers with rifle and heavy tank,
tendering rapid-fire liberty with death,
landing on wings slayed brown broods
and the blood of them filled the Dijla
with a charity of the innocent’s blood.
Rescuers that the nations would resent,
stones instead of kisses, bombs over roses,
freedom that the free might consume
in a country teetering and spent.
God to God with them to frowning flesh!
Iraqis exploding like atoms
to be buried under tables
dead where they lived.
see them, their dead liberty,
gaze their broken homeland,
from corpses holding children
instead of hope and roses,
all our soldiers of America
and every corpse a gallon of oil,
every life left to poisonous soil
which will very soon seek
the heart of creation.
Soon the books will but speak briefly
holding the tongues of the imprisoned
that lies may flourish underground,
and Iraqi souls might find their way
from `neath the fiery dwelling,
from under civilization
carrying the buried and bleeding truth
toward a stillness. Toward home.
Iraq War Victims