Israeli Etchings – A Poem

By Vi Ransel

Two grim images from Gaza
acid-etched themselves
into my consciousness,
a little girls’ head
and a baby’s body.
It was odd to see
her tousled hair, her smudged small cheeks
on a pile of rubble as if asleep
at an IDF soldier’s feet
severed from the rest of her
perhaps by the pressure waves
of limb-slicing, US-supplied
dense inert metal explosives,
But the charred lump was worse,
a charcoaled, partial baby
held aloft by a sobbing medic
in supplication
to the white phosphorus
which had made it
barely recognizable,
a sacrificial burnt offering,
featureless face
stumps of arms
below the waist
its baby legs
a shark-gnawed fish tail,
vestigial remnants of bones
blackened in a barbecue in hell.
All I ask
is that the war criminals who ordered this
see the same Israeli etchings
on the undersides of their eye lids,
one on the left, one on the right,
so they can
never again
close their eyes
as they try to fall asleep every night.
Olmert.  Barak.  Netanyahu.  Livni.
Bush/Cheney, Gates, Rumsfeld and Rice.
The Knesset.  The Senate.
The House of Representatives.
The Military-Industrial Complex
and the IDF should be sentenced
to see the results of their callous and casual crimes
’til they pluck out their own eyes
in an effort to go blind.
– Vi Ransel works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).

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