Iraqi Boys

This poem, in a revised version here, was first written in January of 2003 for Sam Hamill’s Poets Against the War website, for which I was also a volunteer editor. See also “Beating about the Bush” and “O President, My President.”


The Iraqi boy bouncing a ball

in his schoolyard

knows nothing of the wind

of falling bombs.


Too young to know the crude cost of oil,

he does not recall

the liberation that cost him

his uncles’ lives and limbs.


I hope that he might die

only of old age,

and live to buy his grandchildren

their own red rubber balls.