Pamela Talene Hale
Hale describes herself as "an ordinary person from an ordinary place." She formerly lived in Houston, Texas, where she wrote "Poem for an Iraqi Child in a Forgotten News Clip.
Poem for an Iraqi Child in a Forgotten News Clip
I'm sorry that your mom was killed
When a missile struck your home
You were only three, and innocent.
Your mother too was innocent.
That missile came in my name,
Paid for by my tax dollars.
I was against the bombing, but
Not registered to vote,
Afraid to make a stand.
I have a daughter, about your age.
She is beautiful and strong.
Her mother is here, her father there,
But her home has never been bombed.
She makes fliers to pass out at school.
"No one should have to die for oil."
She scares her teachers and school counselor.
She is too young to vote.
But not afraid to make a stand.
This time, I will not stand idly by
While politicians propagandize and
Big corporations divvy up the booty
In advance. No.
This time I will make my voice heard,
Say the things I couldn't say before,
Support my daughter and the others when
They stand against another unjust war.
I am sorry for your loss.
Sorry too, for my part in it,
My apathy, my inattention.
Sorry for your loneliness and deprivation.
Your lost childhood. Your pain.
Sorry for the bombs that fell and fell,
For the planes that circle still.
In my name.
Questions for Reflection: “Poem for an Iraqi child in a Forgotten News Clip”
- How has Hale personalized the Iraqi War in her poem? What are your opinions about this personalization?
- What are the comparisons that the poet uses in her poem?
- What might Hale’s feelings be about her daughter’s actions expressed in the poem?
- How is Hale’s daughter an inspiration for her?
- What accusation is Hale making in her poem?
- What is the enormity of loss to the young Iraqi child whose mother was killed?
- What about this poem resonates for you and for what reason?