Irene Willis

             Abu Ghraib

             It took Botero to bring it home –
             not the gray printed pages
             of the New York Times
             but the Colombian painter,
             Fernando Botero, with his
             bulbous hyper-reality –
             balloon-like legs and arms,
             gigantic pecs and torsos.
             Botero, whose paintings,
             even of the innocuous, 
             hold a recipe for horror.

             2003, within all-too-recent 
             memory, in our name,
             with our dollars, knowing
             the enabler who lit
             the match is venerated,
             decently retired.   

             Now, trying to read more,
             learn more, I find I can’t 
             even look.  How easily we
             learn to dis-remember here
             in America the beautiful
             our Pilgrims’ pride.

Irene Willis has published five collection of poetry and edited and/or co-edited two anthologies.  Her poems have also appeared in many journals and anthologies.  Awards for her work include a Distinguished Artist fellowship from the NJ State Council on the Arts, a residency fellowship from the Millay Colony and grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Berkshire/Taconic Foundation.  She is Poetry Editor of /International Psychoanalysis /(online).