NI: Global Issues for Learners of English > The Issues > Iraq > Arguments against the bombing

 

Arguments Against the Bombing

consider the infinite fragility of an infant’s skull
how the bones lie soft and open
only time knitting them shut

consider a delicate porcelain bowl
how it crushes under a single blow
– in one moment whole years disappear

consider that beneath the din of explosions
no song can be heard
no cry

consider your own sky on fire
your name erased
your children’s lives “a price worth paying”

consider the faces you do not see
the eyes you refuse to meet
“collateral damage”

how in these words
the world cracks open

Illustration by Emily Johns

Poem by Lisa Suhair Majaj.
First published in Al Jadid, Winter 1998.
Illustration by Emily Johns


Vocabulary

consider: think about

fragility (n); fragile (adj): something that breaks very easily

porcelain: fine, high- quality china, very thin

din: a lot of loud, unpleasant noises

collateral damage: ordinary people who are killed in war.

['Collateral damage' is a phrase used by the military so that we don't think about the fact that military action kills innocent people. 'Collateral' means: connected to the main point, but not the focus.]


new internationalist
issue 316 - September 1999


NI: Global Issues for Learners of English > The Issues > Iraq > Arguments against the bombing

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