Isam Hussain (8-12-1938 / Iraq)
Silent Images of Grief
The earth shakes, hearts miss a beat,
walls sway, doors and windows rattle.
People run outdoors, gather in the street,
a mother runs towards the village school.
She stops suddenly, raises her arms,
bows religiously again and again;
while her heart silently prays:
'The children, Lord, the children.'
An old lady, dressed in black,
too frail to rush, can hardly walk,
comes towards her with open arms;
while people watch with grim faces.
Rescue workers battle valiantly;
but the rubble resists defiantly.
They seem to know the score,
the children are no more.
*The earthquake at San Giuliano di Puglia in Italy in 2002
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