Iraq

The mother’s hand
reaching for her daughter
the cheap purple flower
the rolled date sweet
the lamb meat wrapped
in a heavy brown bag.

The mother’s hand
reaching for her daughter
the red dirt avenue
the crumbling store walls
the mural of Saddam
splayed with bullets.

The mother’s hand
reaching for her daughter
the lightning from the earth
the quakes from the sky
the feet of angry men
running near, shouting.

The mother’s hand
reaching for her daughter
the warm blood
the glazed brown eyes
the white dress crimson
against the child’s stiff body.

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