To a Child of Baghdad


Our bombs may blast you
to a better life. You and your vivid parrot
may even change places. We give you
a chance, at least, to better yourself.

Who knows, you may be born beneath
a lucky star next time, maybe live
in our land of milk and honey,
and do some bombing yourself.

They say you'll die this year,
that our bombs did it–the power outage,
polluted water, that sort of thing–
but they're stretching a point.

If you knew these bombs you would love them.
We draw faces on them. We keep them spit-
shined and give them pet names.
And they are smart–that's how they found you.


David Ray, Music of Time: Selected & New Poems, The Backwaters Press, 2006; Kangaroo Paws, Thomas Jefferson University Press, 1994..