Poem About Iran by Douglas Gilbert,”Telling The News”

Telling The News

If I see Ali’s wife
I might hide my wet face
tell her later the news about
Basiji on motorcycles
those worse than
Janjaweed on Camels,
diligent spit with clubs and guns

If I see her
I must not scream
above her wailing,
must calmly tell her
tell her, tell her

If I see her, if

If I could only tell her
the demonstration succeeded
turned back the Basiji
at Tehrananmen Square
I could whimper condolences
be calm for her

but my brother Ali is dead
and the gush of blood on my clothes
makes me wail
in her presence

Cry streaming like me
and in sickness
she vomits this morning
when everyone is crushed

And I wonder in shame
who can be born without tears
—Douglas Gilbert

Books by Douglas Gilbert