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Sunday, February 21, 2010

One of Us [Today's News Poem, February 21, 2010]

One of Us [Today's News Poem, February 21, 2010]
“At least 40 people have been killed in the floods, and more than 120 others hurt - a "small number" British.“
--BBC, 21:32 GMT, Sunday, 21 February 2010

“The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement, which has 700 refugee children in foster care, has asked states to prepare to foster more international refugee children like Majok, whose parents either have disappeared or been killed by war or natural disaster. The need is heightened by continuing armed conflicts in Africa and recent events such as the earthquake in Haiti.”
--Russell Contreras, AP, February 21, 2010, 3:41 p.m,0,268446.story

For all the talk of loving fellow humankind,
A hoax balloons when children trap anxiety
We feel as tribal instinct. Cameras, as blind
As us record the sleight of eye society
Maintains is truth. The things we watch are things that count:
An earthquake pricks me less in Haiti—more Malay.
Where coffee's grown, and spice; the scale of death amounts
To higher prices at the store. The kids: away,
By sea--submerged. We grieve as an employer grieves.
The Haitian quake incites the pity workers feel
For beggars. Suffering in them? Let's say it weaves
If only slightly with our vanity's appeal.
To prove that wealth should come to those who spend responsibly:
That any one of us is better: good, demonstrably.
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Cuff Link said...

I dig it. I'm a pragmatist as far as international relations go though. Haiti is our Corsica. We have to swing by once in a while. Last time we were through there was like 95 I think. The U.S. has a big target on its back. Going in for earthquake relief kills two birds. But sending in a failed business woman, loosely affiliated with a church group, to kidnap thirty orphans to sell in the states. Now that was f-ing brilliant.

Khakjaan Wessington said...

I know, it's like there's always an American willing to step up and play folk demon. I wanted to throw that in the poem too, but it didn't work.