Talking to Grief
By Denise Levertov
Ah, Grief, I should not treat you
like a homeless dog
who comes to the back door
for a crust, for a meatless bone.
I should trust you.
I should coax you
into the house and give you
your own corner,
a warm mat to lie on,
your own water dish.
You think I don't know you've been living
under my porch.
You long for your real place to be readied
before winter comes. You need
your collar and tag. You need
the right to warn off intruders,
my house your own
and me your person
my own dog.
Yet, my thoughts drift out to the Middle East. To those who die in each of the regions there. Whether Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Israel.
My thoughts drift out to those under siege by the firepower of bombs, rockets, missiles, gunship-deadly force of any kind raining in on any of the warring sides. Armaments built to kill life and line the pockets of the military/industrial complex men and women with money.
I forget. This is war. They have no one to read to them their favorite poems as they die. They have no one to hold their hands, or play their favorite music. They have the wailing of the wounded, the screams of pain, the gnashing of teeth, the darkness of crumbled buildings toppled on them as they lay there, dying.
Do they die in the blink of an eye? Do they linger and suffer while the blood drains out of their bodies? Do they die with the hope of a bright tomorrow still burning inside of them? Do they die angry, hating the American built bombs, or the American military, or the Israeli Army, or Hezbollah, or Hamas-those responsible for raining the bombs down on them?
Do they have a chance to make peace with God, or Allah, or with their Higher Power?
And what, or who, brings comfort to the living who face the empties, the empties of dead loved ones no longer there to share life with them, to comfort them, to bring them food, or presents, or flowers, or candy, or chocolates, or water? Who cares for them in their bombed out homes and streets? Do they have shelter when they are cold, or when they are hot? How do they manage without water supplies, electric lights, food, roads to take them out of hell? Where, and in whom do their human souls find comfort and comforting?
As I sit listening to Chopin in the comfort of my home, in the knowledge that today I will not be bombed, in the hope that tomorrow I won't be bombed either, I continue to think about the dead and dying. I think of the Bush created vast ocean of blood. I think of the seed of violence, blood, war and occupation that he has planted in the world.
Does he know, does he even realize the extent of his Kingdom of Blood?
When entire families are killed in one household does Bush grieve for them? Does the world? Is it just up to their surviving family, friends, neighbors and loved ones to grieve for them?
I think also of those pets-goats, dogs, cats, cows, caught in man's miserable game of, "Who has the upper hand? Our Bombs Will Tell." Innocent little creatures slaughtered in man's thirst for conquest and blood.
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