Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Nation Is Drowning

I am watching
An entire nation drown
An entire people drown
On live TV
I am watching
A nuclear disaster
Ravage an entire nation
Japan is no more
Japan is radioactive
Once again
Sixty years after
Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Hiroshima, Nagasaki
And now we can add
The name of
To the list
Of nuclear horrors

First the world’s worst earthquake
The Haitian earthquake all over again
With her 200,000 dead
Followed by world’s worst tsunami
Banda Ache Indonesia
All over again
Only this time
One thousand times worse

And on top of all this
Nuclear catastrophe
Chernobyl all over again
Only a hundred times worse
In the world’s
Most densely populated nation

Even the very word
Is enough to freeze
The human heart
With paralyzing fear
Entire villages washed away
Cars, trucks, houses, people
Erasing everything alive in its path

In living color
And talking heads
Experts of every kind
Explaining, explaining, explaining
Drowning in their own ignorance
Drowning in their own ineptitude
Pointing to charts
Showing the pictures
Of so much suffering
And devastation
Over and over again
Until numbness sets in
And the mind refuses
To accept such massive misery
Until the emotions
Shut down
Because the heart can only
Bear so much grief
Before it too breaks apart
Who will suffer the most?
The children, the elderly
Rich and poor
The halt and the lame?

On BBC I am watching
An entire nation drown
I see
But I cannot believe

Philadelphia, Pa. 2011

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