July 8, 2009

The Fury of War: An elegy for millions in two voices

Enough people die, and
Verdun: 984,000
we count the unfathomable number
Auschwitz-Birkenau: 1,500,000
of lives lost to
Dresden: 135,000
the fury of war. We forget
Nagasaki: 73,884
each number is significant.
Hiroshima: 65,000
In life, a mother, father, sister
Korea: 36,995
or brother, but in death, only abstract
Vietnam: 58,151
statistics. Each deserves an elegy,
September 11, 2001: 3,173
but there will never be enough poets.