Years later reminders of the brutal war can still be found today – this picture was taken in the center of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina. Sarajevo was besieged over four years by Serbian troops after declaring independence. This was the longest siege of a city in modern warfare.
The Face of Mourning
Well I know mournings’s face whom the Sarajevo wind strafes
while flipping through newspaper pages stuck together from pools of blood
on the street where I awkwardly watch my steps with a small loaf of bread under my arm.
It’s in the river too when its waves sway a dead woman’s body
on whose arm I notice a watch as I run across the bridge with a bucket full of milk.
And, in the chill of December, I saw that face in a hand motion that stuffed a shoe of a never grown child
into a wood-burning stove. It’s a face that returns its thanks on the back of family photographs
that flutter beneath garbage trucks. And it is the face that rebukes a trembling pencil
for being incapable of writing a bulky dictionary of lament.
A face which nightly keeps me from sleeping which is why I watch my neighbor
who is always awake by the window staring into the blind darkness.
by Goran Simic
From the “Mourning of Sarajevo” journal
for more poetry and literature about this topic visit http://www.leftcurve.org/lc18-20pgs/aftersarajevo.html