Piazza della Carina

There’s a child’s doll on the stones
By the ashes of the fire
Broken, limbs dangling. Where is the child,
You ask, and look away, Wondering, perhaps
Then turn back, looking once again.

It is not a doll.

And the father on his hands and knees, scrabbling in the dirt
Isn’t an extra in a movie, paid to grovel and cry.
The tears are real, the blood is real
And the dead children really die.

And only the flies remain, buzzing
Their buzz, and another buzz,

And you hear a voice saying
This is the good war,
This is the price of freedom
And perhaps you hear voices saying
It’s very sad, but such things must be.

After all, these people have beards, wear turbans
The women cover their faces
And you can’t understand what they’re saying
Maybe they don’t really mind dying
As much as real people do.

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