“With Regrets” (poem)

With Regrets

I wasn’t there at Srebrenica
so I couldn’t block the bullets
or curse your executioners
as they cleansed you
out of existence

I wasn’t in Kigali either
to seize all the machetes
scattering the mobs
with my shaming rhetoric

Never made it to Austria
to kill the little corporal
before he was born

etc. etc.

I’ve failed you at every turn
spading dirt over your
million separate faces
wiping my brow
before moving on to the
next field (and the next…)

plowed in deep furrows
hemmed with the dead

 

Cliff Burns
(February 19, 2012)

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