The Finers Points of War
by Diane Elayne Dees

A twelve-year-old boy, kidnapped in Iraq
and held for ransom. The family paid--
his sexually abused body then found
in a plastic bag, hanged by his own clothes.
"This," says CNN's talking head,
"isn't regular warfare--it's barbarism." What I would like
for him to tell me is which part of the whole affair
is regular: the bombing of families in their homes,
the raping of children, the blowing up of buildings?
The murder of members of one's own religion,
the deaths of soldiers through roadside bombs?
What of the torture of prisoners, the abandonment
of veterans, the assaults on our own soldiers by our own soldiers?
I am not schooled in the fine points of atrocity--
where is the expert to tell me whose blood flows
in a regular stream down a street of debris and despair?

Copyright © 2007 - Diane Elayne Dees
Published: 9/6/07   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem