Who Will Come to Save Him, Now?
(written during the First Gulf War)

by Barry W. North

When did I become so hardened to human suffering?

Who is this monster I do not recognize,
who can sit in front of a T.V.
watching a war as though it were a mini-series?

Who taught me this trick
of accepting the destruction of 200,000 people
in the blinking of an eye?

When did I learn to look at babies—
with bloated stomachs,
crawling with flies,
starving to death in countries with names I cannot pronounce—
as though they have nothing to do with me?

Who is this creature I can not abide:
who would sooner part with his humanity than with his cash;
who can dismiss all of the homeless with a flick of the wrist—
the way Pontius Pilate dismissed a barefooted rebel,
dressed in rags—
like so much rubbish,
too despicable to be touched with his clean Roman hands.

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