Southwest Asia, March 1991



It is sunrise here all night long

An angry red sunrise whose only

Forays above the horizon are seemingly

Tiny fingers of flame shooting from

The tortured well-heads a hundred

Miles away. Kuwait is burning.


Starving refugees desperate for water

Mob our vehicles--mothers without

Hope try secretly to place babies in

The backs of Hummers. From secret

Police to helicopter gunships the slaughter

Of innocents continues just beyond our

Front lines. Iraq is bleeding.


I pick through ammunition, weapons,

Chemical protective gear--stop to

Consider a beret with Republican Guard

Insignia and pick it up. Linked 7.62

Ball and tracer lies scattered as though

Dropped from the sky. In addition to some

Grazing around me and staring stupidly,

A camel is somewhere screaming. I finally

locate a pair stacked one atop the

Other and smile. Camels are mating.


                                                                        Christopher J. Cramer

                                                                        March 30, 1991