Thoughts on Photographs from Gaza July 28, 2009 3:43 AM
Thoughts on photographs from Gaza
By now, we know what a dead child looks like
Eyes open or eyes closed
We know the gesture of a father, hands and face raised to the sky
And the expression on his face......
We know the gesture of an old man, praying
The gesture of one mother, comforting another.
We know the urgency of young men, hurrying with their burden of bodies
Dead or alive or dying
We know the bodies lying in rows, in heaps
Before they are picked up
By the men with the stretchers and the blankets and the shrouds
And we can't help thinking
The thought won't leave us:
Of other bodies lying in rows, in heaps
And the saying, "Never Again!"
We can almost hear the cries, smell the smoke
And burnt blistering flesh
Using a little imagination.
The damage to buildings is terrible
Imagine, then, what has been done to soft, vulnerable human flesh.
Outside the zone of damage, cars are parked just like in any downtown area
It looks deceptively normal
But it is not.
The look in the eyes of the children is haunting.
What do the living children think, looking at the dead ones?
Whom they undoubtedly knew......
The ones who are crying you don't want to look at
There are wounds that make you turn away
You don't WANT to know their nature.
We know the color of the dead bodies and faces.
Some are grey with dust
Some are charred black
Some are red
Some are strange colors and you don't WANT to know why.
How can this ever be made right?
Why are such efforts being made NOT to show us this?
Where do we go from here?
Our pity, our outrage, our tears
Will they all be for NOTHING?
2 May 2009
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