Monday, November 1, 2010

Poem 38 – "Child soldier"

[The Tolerance Project was asked to contribute a poem to a forthcoming anthology in response to Canadian "child soldier" Omar Khadr having been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay for 8 years, since he was 15. Information on the anthology is here:]

"Child soldier"
(for Omar Khadr)

A child has an imposition from which he can redeem himself with six points

Planets move so that soldiers sketch with chalk over the singe

Women feel burning and pricking of heat inside

Tracing their hands or pictures of ships where paws and bellies hung

But sand has a terrible secret

I think plain, clear language could make it stronger

“Very good, only they breathe

In the background is a piece of classical architecture

He holds a small camouflaged pillow in his left hand

I forgive your ancestor’s beautiful thoughts

Statues representing dancing figures

What the Boardroom shoves through the porthole to sea

With this little soldier doomed grow monster

Tribunal earrings shown full face and aligned in depth

While writing this, I am bloody as well as greasy

Hot about the mouth of the womb

If the vest of childhood the thread of peace

Sometimes the colour of humid ashes

Outside the veins and in the hollowness

Small black bodies mingled with milk

If unable to deliver antibiotic borders

Inside and aching, pricking and hardness

And if such humours turn into cold wind

And they fly up to the heart and lungs

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