We hear their songs no more, ballads drifting from the nearby village obliterated by war –
sung before their people were put to flight.
We used to visit door to door, but then forbidden to shelter families even as roosters cried all night.
Did it matter so they weren’t us? Who forced us,
who made us stop our ears against those mournful airs that left us heart-sore, from a village wiped off
the maps, erased without a fight, neighbours’ homes
bulldozed, their town clock rent silent. We hear their songs no more, just another village
exterminated by war.
Norbert Hirschhorn is a public health physician, commended by former US president Bill Clinton as an "American Health Hero". He lives in London and Beirut. He has published three full collections, several pamphlets and has poetry in numerous US and British publications. This poem appears in his fourth collection, available from Holland Park Press. See his website for more information: www.bertzpoet.com