This poem was written in honor of my wife, who inspired it. Not long after the Iraq bombings began, as we watched the 6 o'clock news one night, a report unusually graphic showed a dead Iraqi child and its screaming mother... the camera panned over the scene slowly. And I watched in horror, yes, but a detached horror. I was disgusted with the government I voted against, but still somehow detached. Then, my wife's sudden exclamation -- "Why did we DO that! How could she have been there?!?" And the tears on her face suddenly ripping through the objective veneer over my heart...
A mutilated, still limb lies beneath a broken wall,
the smell of rotting flesh, and flies buzzing.
The wail of pure grief, and the still-young mother,
flinging the dust of despair over her head.
In her arms, the dead child's ruined face, smeared
With the blood of our power and their resistance
Her heart that burns with desperate fire.
We observe, coolly, more like God
in our ability to see through media eyes
than God Himself to see through ours.
Our emotions as changeable as weather
and unable to move our nervous hands,
which twitch the remote to another frequency.
The powerful control the meaning of love, dear.
The camera lens focused on what they're selling.
There's little hidden, it's all up front, just look.
The mothers of the children stir uneasily at the beast
As it hungrily eyes their little consumers
And I watch the television, numb to the bombs, numb
Until you scream, suddenly, the other mother –
"What are we doing? Oh, God!
What have we done?"And your face, covered with tears, is the Lord's.