Vox Populi

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Anthony Ciotoli: Camp

A friend of mine recently returned from working at a Syrian refugee camp in Greece. He can barely speak of his experience. All he can say is he feels he should go back and do more. Seeing his face and thinking about his experiences brought back harrowing images I’ve seen on television and in magazines of refugee camps and families in flight.

I watch the march,
the carried, crying children
the dust as they move along.

I see hatchlings,
maggots on the dead and undead
feasting on the hungry.

I see nursing
bloated babies on withered breasts
getting only blood from cracked nipples.

I smell death’s release on living breath,
in camps where god doesn’t visit
and isn’t much expected.

But even here are lullabies
and love songs amid the wailing
plaints that shame

our collection plate dollars
and goodwill bags


Copyright 2017 Anthony Ciotoli


Migrants and refugees queue to enter a camp after crossing the Greek border into Macedonia.

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