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Sharon Fagan McDermott: War

The body is an amplifier.              

~Yusef Komunyakaa 


This intensity, this buildup of noise

This contusion, concussion, this

reverberation of the heart, this static

of the mind this woman in a crowded

subway clutching her baby today, saying

directly to the television camera help us, help us,

you must help us. This intensity, this buildup

of noise—Help us! —an echo of an old human

refrain through the mad and fucked up timbres

of our human history. Those in Sarajevo,

in Rwanda, in Germany and Bangladesh,

those dying on the Trail of Tears

and shivering under bridges in our city.

All wars are waged against children,

I read today on someone’s twitter feed.

Help us, help us. My body jangles loud,

electrified by all the voices rising through the

smoke, debris, the marching in the

streets, the sirens caterwaul, the crack

of cop’s batons, the sniper’s guns,

the helicopters slicing overhead.

There is no armor left, no helmets

to go around, no chainmail, shields,

or swords. Such huddling in the underground!

The body is a snail without a shell.

Vulnerable, the reverb of the heart turned up,

such pounding noise, the ache of bones, the wounds

that will not heal and open time and time

again. The body wants quiet, to turn it off.

No.     The body wants three things:

to live, to thrive, to see another day.

Copyright 2022 Sharon Fagan McDermott

When children waste away to literally nothing while fourteen million people face conflict driven famine, a hue and cry—yes, a caterwaul —most certainly should be raised, worldwide.(photo: The Progressive)

6 comments on “Sharon Fagan McDermott: War

  1. Lisa Zimmerman
    March 17, 2022

    So many wars, so many refugees 💔
    A beautiful, heart wrenching poem.

    Liked by 2 people

    • singsharon
      March 17, 2022

      Oh, Lisa–isn’t that the truth? Thank you so much for your kind words today.


  2. Gwen
    March 14, 2022

    Perfect poem for today, Sharon. I wish it were not.

    Liked by 2 people

    • singsharon
      March 14, 2022

      Thanks so much, Gwen. I feel exactly the same way–hugs to you. Sharon

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mark Dixon
    March 14, 2022

    So beautiful and horrible and resonant and striking and… … Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • singsharon
      March 14, 2022

      Oh Mark, Thank you so much for your generous comments! I think we are all trying to grapple with this awful war. I’m grateful to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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