Friday, December 16, 2016

The Diameter of the Aleppo Bomb: An Elegy-Poem

The Diameter of the Aleppo Bomb

By David Hartley Mark

(With Apologies to Yehuda Amichai,
Il Miglior Fabbro)

                                                The young man flying
                                                The Sukhoi-24 Tactical Bomber
                                                Comes from Omsk
                                                Where he loves to visit the museums in the springtime
                                                With his girlfriend Nelania,
                                                Who works in a shoppe
                                                Selling high-end pocketbooks & shoes

                                                Off-duty,
                                                He favors a small diamond stud
                                                In one ear
                                                And his teeth flash
                                                Beneath his redgold hair
                                                As he embraces her slender and lithe waist
                                                To steal a kiss.

                                                He loves the lurch
                                                The aircraft gives
                                                When he drops the bombs,
                                                Both concrete-piercing
                                                And anti-personnel,
                                                Radar-guided
                                                State-of-the-art,
                                                And he yearns to use
                                                The 23-millimeter cannon as well,
                                                But there are no enemy aircraft to oppose,
                                                Only unarmed civilians.

                                                Meanwhile, on the ground,
                                                The targets are
                                                A thin young woman with a degree in Sociology
                                                Who thought to study to bring people together,
                                                A seven-year-old girl who has just lost a tooth,
                                                An old shoemaker with an eyepatch,
                                                And an eighty-year-old grandmother
                                                Who lived in the slums of Aleppo all of her life,
                                                Gardening, cooking, baking,
                                                And raising and losing eight children
                                                Ere she reached the age of sixty.
                                                Before the troops
                                                Of President Assad
                                                Re-took the rebellious city,
                                                The sociologist,
                                                A professor of archeology,
                                                And a desperate-looking English teacher
                                                Made phone videos
                                                Expressing their fears to the world
                                                And screaming into the Void:
                                               
                                                “Help us! Please God Please Allah
                                                Help us!”

                                                They are probably dead by now

                                                “It probably all was staged,”
                                                I read online

                                                And the World
                                                Went back to its
                                                Life

                                                I see that PEOTUS
                                                Has chosen a Secretary of State
                                                Who is very
                                                Chummy
                                    With Putin

                                    Merry Christmas
                                    Happy Chanukah

                                    My God
                                    My God
                                    Why hast Thou
                                    Forsaken
                                    Aleppo

                                    And us?