THE WARTIME ISSUE

Linda Pastan

 

WHAT WE ARE CAPABLE OF
                          On Reading of Prisoner Abuse at Abu Ghraib

What we are capable of
is always astonishing,
though never quite a surprise.

"Astronomers find more evidence
of dark matter," the newspaper says
on the next page—a fact or metaphor?

I think of those villagers in France
who risked their only lives
to save a handful of Jews, and I try

to find from that fading chink of light
an incandescent path
through all these darknesses.

 

 

Linda Pastan's 12th book, in which this poem will appear, is called Queen of a Rainy Country and is due from Norton in October.

 

Published in Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 2006.

 

To read more by this author:
Linda Pastan: The Whitman Issue
Linda Pastan
Linda Pastan: DC Places Issue
Linda Pastan: Evolving City Issue

Linda Pastan: Museum Issue