M. Shahid Alam
“Iraq deaths double under UN sanctions.”
New York Times, Feb.17, 2000
Sleep my child, do not wake now.
The portents in the sky foretell
a searing death for you.
The couriers of death have come,
stealth in their cyber gaze:
they scour the land for Saddam.
They poison every river, creek and well.
They darken school and hospital.
They warp the words you spell.
For star, for oil and cross they fly.
They will not cease to tyrannize
your dying days and hellish nights.
They will not cease their deathly watch.
Their mission is to fossilize
your bones, your heart, your eyes.
Sweet my child, do not wake now.
Your eyes once soft are hard
as rock: your hair is white as snow.
– M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University. He is author of Challenging the New Orientalism (IPI: 2000). You can reach him at email@example.com.