How Fortunate We Are

I’m no longer shocked by the awful reports
of damaged refugees, beaten by clubs
their heads and faces so often crushed,
it’s so often, police bully clubs or rifle butts
or the fists and bricks of black clad gangs.
Doesn’t matter which, the pain’s the same.
We see it, read about it too often
whether it happens in Calais or Israel
Syrian refuge, or removed Palestinian
that we don’t think about the pain
or the blood caking, or the ghastly bruises
don’t think much until it happens to you.

When I fell and smashed my face
there was a hospital to care for me
and many months of visiting nurses
and physical therapies till I was well.
I look normal now, bones have healed
but now I think of those others
who’ll not be cared for, festering wounds
profound disfigurement, lingering pain
how unfair this world is to the venerable
and how little we actual encounter the wreckage
from the wars we started and those we left to die.

Kent Bowker