Frank Halliwell (October 31,1928 / Hamilton Canada)
LEST WE FORGET!
You must give us all your money. You must leave your home and land.
If you're not gone in five minutes, we will kill you where you stand.
Women go and take your children, but the men must remain here.
...So they gather up their children, and depart in deadly fear!
Fleeing from barbaric terror toward a future dim and bleak.
Tramp the widows and their children, and the tired, old, and weak.
Through the lonely empty valleys and the passes white with snow
Stream the footsore, cold and weary dispossessed of Kosovo.
Past the shattered shells of houses, and the ruins of others' hopes,
Past the rubble of a village and the smell of acrid smoke.
Toward the border of their country, and perhaps a helping hand,
Toward the hope of their salvation in a friendly foreign land.
Who could watch without compassion as this tragedy unfolds
Untold thousands on the borders cower in the rain and cold.
Down the road that leads from Kosovo, they come in endless streams,
People stripped of human dignity, possessions and their dreams.
A woman moans in labour, her distress is ill-concealed
With her baby's life beginning in a wet and rainy field!
No place dry to place the infant, no place warm for there's no fire.
Nothing dry in which to wrap her in this field of mud and mire.
Here a Serb and there a Muslim, they have shared these lands for years.
Each in turn has been the victim, each in turn has known the fears...
If you stood them up before you they would look about the same,
But each man detests the other, for their gods have different names.
Two different superstitions of two different deities,
So mindless hate will propagate down through the centuries!
Will justice long delayed seek out the beasts in business suits
And pitiless barbarians who rob and execute?
What will be the final outcome, will the force of arms bestow
A peace to stop the winds of hate that flow through Kosovo?
Comments about this poem (KOSOVO by Frank Halliwell )
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