Passover in Sarajevo

Red skies,
Like the heat of a forge,
Like a veil of blood
Drowning the west in silence.
The guns are quieted.
A rat skitters through broken rubble.
A mother, weeping, presses her child to her breast;
The father
Is undergoing "ethnic purification".

The shops are all closed;
They will not be open tomorrow.
Bands of armed men make their rounds,
House-to-house searches for weapons and loot.
Lamb's blood will not appease;
The knife is keen, but indiscriminate.
Gotta get out of this stinking hell-hole!
Can't seem to find the way to the embassy.
The journalists were expelled last week;
Now we're all fucked!

What am I doing here in this urban death-trap?
This wasn't in the script:
     Brigands in uniform;
     They're like the KKK with tanks and rocket launchers!
     Blood-thirsty degenerates!
     I'm just glad I'm not one of those poor native bastards,
But I still don't trust those bandits
Not to take it out on foreigners once in a while.
They blew up a UN convoy last week;
The blue berets are ready to bail at any moment.
I wish they'd come soon to escort me to the airport.
My wife, she watches the news nightly;
I wish she wouldn't.
I talk to her and I can hear her voice shake.
She doesn't say what I fear:
That any day the Serbs will silently
Round us up,
Herd us into the back alleys,
And blow our goddamn brains out!
Oh GOD! Get me the hell out of this death-camp!

George Chadderdon © 1995