Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rebirth




I

I was born
On Wenceslas Square
White flames playing with my hair.

II

I was born
In the National Stadium, Santiago City
Swimming in a surge of electricity.

III

I was born
On a Sharpeville Street
Bullets snapping at my feet.

IV

I was born
Twinned with Soweto’s pride
The day my brother, Hector, died.

V

I was born
In a cloud of Agent Orange near Da Nang
Listening to the lullabies the napalm sang.

VI

I was born
In front of the US Embassy
Under the boot, the hoof, trying to flee.

VII

I was born
In a cattle truck, Asbest bound
With Stukas circling round and round.

VIII

I was stillborn
One of two million invisible in Park Lane
One link in the unbroken chain.

IX

I was born
In Hiroshima’s fields of ash
At the press of one button gone in a flash.



X

I was born
In a Zeiklon shower
Corrupt fruit of a hateful flower.

XI

I was born
In the ghetto named the Gaza Strip
Product of gunship marksmanship.

XII

Listen well, my friend
No matter which way the smoke blows,
I will be born again.

The image is of jailed Palestinian children by Iqbal Tamimi.

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