Cakewalk in Baghdad

The Mesopotamian sun sets on another day of heat.
Like days of old, secret lovers stroll the street.
Sporadic sniper fire splats against the wall,
women and children nimbly dodge and fall .

The bougainvillea in the last light a vermilion treat.
The smell of dates ripening in palms ever so sweet.
The rata... tat tat of automatics firing in the street,
has everyone’s hearts skipping a beat.

Boats on the Euphrates wind their timeless ways.
Secret lovers line the banks since fertile crescent days.
A helicopter upriver comes, silent like the hawk.
An RPG in its innards vermilion explodes, we gawk.

The lovers kiss in the glow of the blast,
the flaming wreckage on the water cast.
The bazaar is quiet now, as people ply its lane,
here the day ends as men gather to talk plain.

A man in black robes comes to mingle,
and blows them all to bits in a single,
second of a martyr's twisted glory.
The night falls silent amid all the gory.

In long lines they wait in the dawn’s early light,
to sign up for duty and their people's plight.
A small car careens off a Hummer’s right.
The blast blows the recruits from day into night.

Baghdad, Oh Baghdad.  Why do I mourn?
A fabled city so brought to scorn.
No longer will I dream of Arabian nights.
Babylon’s gardens and beautiful sights.

No Greek scholars to grace your mosques.
No mathematicians recovering theories lost.
No great treasures of history to see.
Baghdad, Oh Baghdad.  I mourn for thee.
Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Copyright 2005 © Ronald W. Hull


7/24/05

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