desert gaol

The following poem was actually written in 2007. It was in response to a black and white photo in the SMH that captured my heart.  It said so much about the war at the time and  I was so anti the Iraq War when it began in 2003 with Bush-Blair-Howard Shock and Awe Campaign.

I included this poem in my collection as it was Highly Commended in the Gum Blossom Poetry Competition at the time.

Of course now the war that made a vacuum  in Iraq  has spread and disturbed the world and we have become  desensitised about photos like this.
desert gaol

i’m haunted by a photo scene
a makeshift desert gaol
with barbed wire as a barricade
men with bare feet
wearing simple garb white djellaba
hands tied behind their backs
over their heads plain black sacks
crowded and cowering they sit

near one a tiny child leans
toes digging into the sand
the man unable to reach out a hand
to comfort or reassure

often in my dreams
i wonder what became of them.