Requiem For A Forgotten Nation

It  has always bothered me that our country was content to stand by and let the Bosnian genocide happen. I wrote this poem on 9/13/1996  almost a year after the Dayton Accords were signed. After massively rewriting it this weekend, I’d like to share it to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the start of the country’s civil war, April 6, 1992.

Every man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind. –Meditation XVII, John Donne

 Gone are the pictures in the newspapers –

Pictures of the nameless, wandering through

Darkness, images of the condemned

Left to suffer,

Left to tread through blood

Spilled in the streets of a

Forgotten nation;

Gone are the faces of hollow-eyed children, innocents

Lost, forever changed, the

Faces of evil, once ordinary

Fathers, brothers and sons…

They

Are

All

Gone.

All that remains is an

Inky newspaper column, on the

Back page; soon the ink will

Fade and my hand –

Which has never been stained with

A neighbor’s blood , will

Turn to other pages, other stories of

Violence and horror as the

Faces change but human nature stays

The same.

This nation, once proud and

Beautiful

Will remain forgotten and alone,

Voices depleted; we will pretend that what

Remains has nothing to do with us,

Just as we turned from what

Once was.

Distant deaths dim souls.

What happens when we are

The ones who are

Left

Alone?

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