Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
SHOCK AND AWE OVER GAZA — Jonathan Cook reports from the West Bank on How the Media and Human Rights Groups Cover for Israel’s War Crimes; Jeffrey St. Clair on Why Israel is Losing; Nick Alexandrov on Honduras Five Years After the Coup; Joshua Frank on California’s Water Crisis; Ismael Hossein-Zadeh on Finance Capital and Inequality; Kathy Deacon on The Center for the Whole Person; Kim Nicolini on the Aesthetics of Jim Jarmusch. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the Faltering Economic Recovery; Chris Floyd on Being Trapped in a Mad World; and Kristin Kolb on Cancer Without Melodrama.
this morning I understand that there’s a twelve year old boy in a hospital in Baghdad. the word is that last night a missile hit his flimsy house and killed his mother, his father, his brothers, his sisters, and also blew his arms off his body. what color is his room do you think? with […]

I Understand There’s a Boy in a Baghdad Hospital

by LARRY KEARNEY


this morning I understand that there’s
a twelve year old boy

in a hospital in Baghdad.

the word is that last night a missile
hit his flimsy house and killed

his mother, his father, his brothers,
his sisters,

and also blew
his arms off his body.

what color is his room
do you think? with the sun coming up

creeping, what is it shining on?
which bits of chrome, flesh,

fabric? colored water?
is it all right?

will things be all right?

the boy cries because his mother is dead.
and.

and because the nurse
looks at him.

he cries and cries and asks
can you bring back my arms?

I heard this on the radio.
you understand? that question?

can you bring back my arms?

it isn’t even a question, is it?
we’d have to say well,

we knew they’d be gone.
some of them anyway.

we’ll just have to live with it
won’t we.

LARRY KEARNEY is a poet living in California.