Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Red-Haired Man's Wife

She lay on her back, as if sunbathing ,
Her face peaceful, eyes closed,
A halo of wooden pegs scattered
Round her hair.
Overhead, freshly washed, her child’s clothes
Now hung limp and lifeless.

Death dipped his fingers
In their warm blood and beckoning to the
Dancing flies,

Turned his face towards the
Hateful helicopter skies,
Inhaling cloying, putrid air,
Smiling, carefree, debonair.

I'm thinking about Robert Fisk, writing in Beirut as the Israelis bomb the city into rubble again. I can't imagine the bravery of this man and his determination to keep the truth before us. The poem was inspired by his description on being the first journalist to enter the refugee camp at Shatila after the Israelis had let loose the Falangist militia on the unprotected inhabitants.

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