People for Peace, Justice, and Healing

People of Sadr City

I      I cannot hold your sorrow
       But I am sorry for the bullets
       and the fragments of the bullets.
       I am sorry Sami Ahmen and the baby
             are dead.
       I cannot help you.
       I am over here
       and my house is small
       and the terror of your lives
       has heated the house for a day
       and now is gone
       even though the windows were closed
       and the books were on the shelves
       and the newspapers were on the table.

II     I try to read, to be attentive,
       a good citizen.
       I wipe my chin at the end of each meal.
       I listen to the learned experts.
       I read the columns on the editorial page.
       I go to live theater not just the movies.
       I pay attention to assertions emanating
       from both ends of the political spectrum.
       I have vigiled for peace.
       I have donated to Amnesty International.
       I try to think for myself and like you
       I love my country but perhaps not enough.
       People of Sadr City, I am sorry for the bullets
             and the fragments of bullets.

              -- Karen Havnaer

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Last updated: February 17, 2005