Below monthly killed numbers for you
by Michael Brett

The time is blank and busy on the wall and on our wrists.

In the London Press Office, we are waiting for the news.
We are Egyptian monkeys playing with graveyard skulls,

The fax paper twitches, then slides like a seance wine glass,
Then-as if a ghost is trapped inside the drum-
Begins to whirr and clatter.

Bosnia-Herzegovina Ministry of Health.
Below monthly killed numbers for you

The letters are archaeological, dactylic,
Linear B musing beneath an arc of shells.

in their homes, 2,724. Missing 8,656.

Outside, the buses cough and grumble to Piccadilly.
An old man sweeps up Autumn leaves.

More monthly killed numbers follow.

My deadline is three for the evening edition.

I take the fractured words, the question marked numbers,
And rewrite them
In beautiful English prose
And I feel guilty, thuggish.

Published November, 2011 in Heroes: 100 Poems from the New Generation of War Poets
UK Hardbound Edition   UK Digital Edition

Copyright © 2010 - Michael Brett
Published: 4/8/10   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem