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Empathy II

Sunday, May 6, 2007 by Marianne Elliott

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Journal page 4 May 2007, after Coalition Forces bomb civilian homes in Shindand

As we cross the bridge
a man hits his donkey,
swiping across his flank
and hind legs.
The donkey stumbles sideways and
for an instant I am the donkey.

Tired and hot,
hungry and thirsty.
A feel the stick bite into me
and lose my footing.
Tears push from behind
tightly pressed eyelids.
One foot in front of the other,
my focus narrows to just this.

A breathe,
the moment passes.
I let it go.

A motorbike passes our van.
Three boys on their way to
the park.
The boy in the middle turns to look at me,
smiling broadly as he exhales deeply
the smoke from his imaginary cigarette
held high.
And for an instant I am the boy.

I have the wind in my hair,
the warm sun on my face.
A friend is in front of me,
my brother behind me.
Free, young, happy and
for this moment I am completely without
a care.


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3 Responses to "Empathy II"

  1. homeinkabul says:

    what lovely images!

  2. [a} says:

    It’s one gorgeous journal page. Thanks for sharing this poem.

  3. nadine says:

    This is my first visit to your blog (linked from Susanna’s Sketchbook). This poem brought tears to my eyes.
    Thank you for sharing…
    Connected. We are all connected.

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