August 04, 2010

Insomnia, BBC World Service

by Lex Runciman

Because I could not sleep, I listened.
A woman's undulant voice spoke of her rape
three years past, a tactic of war,
the child of that afternoon asleep in her arms
until its crying interrupts the translator's English.
What happened to your husband?
They made him watch, then killed him.

Mark Twain said, "the world owes you
nothing -- it was here first."
But he had not heard this woman
singing to her waking boy.

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