RIFKAH GOLDBERG
WAITING FOR THE NAMES

More and more days
We sit hour by hour
Waiting for the names

In every innocent corner
Danger now lurks and
Wreaks havoc in our cities

Anonymous bomb blast
Scattered body parts that
Can never again belong

Shattered store-fronts
Confusion of goods
Broken livelihoods

Young parents
Expecting a son
After two daughters

Two teenage friends
Who did not manage
To finish their last pizza

Four pre-army students
Deep into traditional texts
They will never complete

A nursery-school teacher
Who never bid goodbye
To her puzzled charges

Two soldiers together
Who did not get home
Lie forever side-by-side

An elderly man
Who will never arrive
To console his friend

All these names
We wait to hear but
Can never remember

The same names
Their family members
Cannot ever forget

April 2002