The Gash

Daniel David


Here come our reasonable men, our politicians, our blindness.
Here comes the feeble diagnosis and in our feckless hesitation,
our hatred, our predators, our glee comes out to play.
Here comes our old wound reopened, the gash, the gash,
our furious gash incised upon our tired, old body,
our tired, dusty continent, scars repeated upon the same
limbs, belly, ribs, cheek, the flesh as pink, puckered,
festered as years ago. At the naked frontier, another
fence rises from the muck; it is shocking how quickly
we recall familiar ruts, our images of razor wire, trains,
camps, snapping dogs, harsh commands in crisp uniform,
like animals again, again, herded, penned, efficiently tallied.
Imaginary lines are the gash, our cruel delineation,
but the direction can only be north for the unwanted, no choice
between limbo, another demarcation, swallowed by the Aegean,
and the bombs, gas, hunger, the death of home, rape,
beheadings the persuasion. Whose desperation,
whose inconvenience is it? The features of these children
differ, imperceptibly, slightly darker eyes, hair, skin, and yet
the throngs seem unable to fit within our narrow delineations
of tongue, race, worship. What is our limit, our cost, our price,
the cash? Dear president, prime minister, which little bodies
at the border shall our homeland embrace? Hurry, it’s getting
cold, it’s dusk, it’s late.