Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Prisoner

Something by Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail for the end of National Poetry Month.
She doesn't understand
what it means to be "guilty."
She waits at the prison entrance
until she sees him, to say,
"Take care of yourself,"
as she always used to remind him
when he went off to school,
when he left for work,
when he returned while on vacation.
She doesn't understand
what they are saying now
at the back of the podium
in their official uniforms.
They report that he should be kept there
with lonely strangers.
It never occurred to her,
as she sang lullabies on his bed
in those distant days,
someday, he would end up in this cold place
without windows or moons.
She doesn't understand,
the prisoner's mother doesn't understand
why she should leave him
just because
"the visit is over."
From The War works Hard


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