The Caretaker:Baghdad 2003

Slow,
methodical arcs,
cleaning
polishing,
the caretaker
cotton-wooled,
by distance
and indifference,
from events
that once
were his
meat and drink
in a professional sinecure,
long since abandoned
due to those events,
repeating themselves now,
from which
he no longer takes
any sustenance;
sustaining
slow,
methodical arcs,
cleaning
polishing,
in the hour before dawn,
the caretaker
no longer cotton-wooled,
inexplicably overwhelmed
by the violent
and the visceral;
a collapsing ceiling
clouds and columns
of dust and smoke
bizarrely motivating
old telephonic equipment
to announce to the deafening gloom,
“you are through to the Iraqi
Ministry of Tourism,
office hours are 9a.m.to 4p.m.”

Footnote:-
The Cathedral Poets’ground-breaking,inspirational
multi-media exhibition,”Jaw jaw war war”
opened at Wakefield Cathedral at the beginning of January 2003.
This poem reflects the quotidian reality of war.

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