Phyllis Wax

The World Just Watches
                     Aleppo, December 2016

We see them
wrapped in blankets
chilled in rain
hunchbacked with bundles
with babies, with toddlers

Children, eyes blank,
hobble, they bleed,
flesh melted to bone

No safe passage out
Sleeping in frigid tents,
buildings reduced to rubble
or targets

Good-bye their last words
from smartphones
It is finished
Always remember us

We have allowed this
siege to go on and on

Strike me deaf
Pluck out my eyes
Carve their images from my mind

Numb this useless heart