Saturday, September 10, 2011

Equally Dead

On the first anniversary of you-know-when
they held a ceremony.
The names of the dead were carefully read out,
as if each name was a special and delicate seedling,
each reader seeming to imply:
“That particular office worker, burning,
instead of him
it could've been me.”
It took them two and a half hours to read the names
so I decided I wanted to perform a poem
reading out the names of everyone killed
since 1998 in the Congo War.
The only thing that stopped me
was the cruel cost
of all the lager and twiglets needed
to sustain the audience for 4 months and 3 weeks.
War is an insinuating therapist
challenging our belief
that everyone is equally special and delicate.
The challenge is to be able to say:
“That particular child-soldier, machine-gunned,
instead of him
it could've been me.”
Even though it plainly couldn't.

 © Will Holloway 2007

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