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Poetry: "Earthquakes" by Marguerite Bouvard

In Amartice, centuries old houses,
are crushed with only a crooked bell tower
left of a church. Throughout central
Italy, towns known for their exquisite beauty


and as tourist attractions collapse
as the earth suddenly shifts and cracks,
so much destroyed in a few minutes.
But people are busy helping


each other, working throughout
the night, to locate survivors, setting up
tents and cots. The world is riveted.
Journalists are collecting


stories, while in Aleppo there are searing
earthquakes caused by barrel bombs
that rain down day after day.
A five- year old boy covered


with the dust and small remnants
of shattered buildings is seated and staring
straight ahead, frozen in time.
His eyes are blank, he has no words


for his shock cannot speak in
a landscape that is covered with rubble.
He is on another planet that is strange
to him while the physicians
from a bombed hospital are sorting
out whom they can help, the little girl
who lost her arm, small children
lying in gurneys from yet another field


of beauty, but one that is hidden, the petals
of innocence and sweetness drooping,
throughout a city which is no longer
a city that once held the glory of centuries.

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