Who Will Come to Save Me Now?

(written during the first Gulf War)

When did I become so hardened to human suffering?


Who is this monster I do not recognize,

who can sit in front of a T.V.

watching a war as though it were a mini-series?


Who taught me this trick

of accepting the destruction

of 20,000 people

in the blinking of an eye?


When did I learn to look at babies -

with bloated stomachs,

crawling with flies,

starving to death in countries

with names I cannot pronounce -

as though they have nothing to do with me?


Who is this creature I cannot abide:

who would sooner part

with his humanity than with his cash;

who can dismiss all of the homeless

with a backward flick of the wrist -

the way Pontius Pilate

dismissed a barefooted rebel,

dressed in rags -

like so much rubbish,

too despicable to be touched

with his clean Roman hands.


Nominated for the Pushcart Prize by Ancient Paths Magazine