Vaulted

Broken hearts rattle
     like shell-shards in a
     tobacco tin

The shrieks of bayoneted babies
The groans of beaten babies
The call of babies
     wailing for love
The dead eyes of dissociated babies
The silence of babies
     whose hearts are broken

In Uganda, where the warlords —
In Afghanistan, where the soldiers —
In Australia, where the preachers
     and the books
     and the fathers
     and, bewildered,
     the mothers
     and the poets —

At the book launch
One hundred brains,
roughly level
in this vaulted room
You would think —
You would think we could —

Broken hearts rattle
     like shell-shards in a
     tobacco tin

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