Peggy Barnett


Where Are You

Where are you when the deep hole
in the long vertical silver stripes is black
and smoking,
and burning,
and oh my God
there is another black hole
smoking and burning.
Where are you when the people,
little black spider arms and legs,
raisins thrown from a window
falling so slowly,
oh so slowly down,
down, down.
Everything down
As falling slivers of steel,
glinted like mirrors
reflecting the sun,
moving jewels in the blue sky,
the awesome beauty
of a kenetic sculpture
I thought
as I look up and then down,
standing there unmoving
amongst the other shadows
in the low yellow morning sun
on Fifth Ave..
Standing there unmoving
cars stopped with doors open,
radios on three different stations
telling us what we’re looking at
that morning.
Where are you when the first silver tower turns to dust
and falls,
a cloud crumbling swiftly to earth
to not exist anymore.
Where are you when the tall slim white antenna piercing the
oh so blue sky
sways first to the left,
then to the right,
(just as your opinions appear left
then sway to the right)
then the antenna swaying to the left,
oh no its not possible,
then it riding down the center
piercing the heart of the second dust cloud
as it descends down,
to the ground and disappears.
Three thousand lives
where they were there before.
Suddenly the blue sky
is there,
where it was not before.

Where are you when
the missiles fall down on the children night and day,
day and night,
a rain of hatred
that never stopps.
Could you have withstood it?
You who sit in your living room
night and day,
day and night,
in the cool mist of evergreen
deciding who is right and wrong
with only propaganda to guide you.
Where are you when buying a loaf of bread
is a political statement
with hatred in the eyes of the baker
as images of Gaza flash on Al Jazeera
from the TV on the counter.
I buy three eggs and scurry away
past the police guarding the Damascus Gate.
The mussein wakes me every morning
calling me to prayer.
Where are you when
you just can’t stand it anymore
just can’t stand it anymore
and you lose it.
you LOSE it
because you’re human,
and you love your children
just as they do.
And you lose your children
just as they do.
And now you both stand childless.

Who are you that you assign blame
to one side or the other?
There is no one side.
There is no side.
No side.
Only death that threatens all sides.
And where are you when death threatens all?
thousands and thousands of miles away
expressing opinions.

(author retains copyright)