from The Iron Cat of Baghdad
by Bruce Wallace
I miss my family very much. This is the hard part, I think. I spoke to my sister, T, today. I called during my break. The phone card makes it easy to talk for a long time, but this was short. She was so sad. So “down” you say? You know her neighborhood is very close to the bomb…the bomb that killed 53 Shi’a?
Here, look. Let me draw so you will understand. Here is Al-Huriya...Here is my brother’s neighborhood and here is T’s house.
said, “They are revenging now. No one can stop them. It is horrible. I want to
go join my husband in . I don’t care if he has no job there. I just want to
take the baby and go to him. They took a family. They took a Sunni
family; the mother and her 3 daughters. They entered the house and they killed
them. Is this life?”
And later when I was sitting on the subway I couldn’t look at anyone. The faces were not the same human faces that I used to like to look at….a strange feeling swept me away from looking at people; a feeling of hatred overcame me.
The walk from the subway to home took no time at all. There was no time. I kept my eyes on my feet and got to the door in what seemed only a minute, as if the distance had shortened. No people or store windows or noises interfered with my isolated passage through the streets.
my dinner, in the land of the occupier, tastes like a paper.