When there are disasters around the Earth
earthquake, fire, flood,
I pray for someone like myself amid the horror.
She is hurting.

Like myself she is a mother, grandmother
praying to be faithful to her God.

Since two towers quaked
and no flood of water or of tears
could quench that searing fire,
 I have been in prayer with other women like myself

My like-self today lives in a nation called Iraq.

A grandmother,
she has watched a grandson die of leukemia
as I have watched my daughter Ann take Marcus
for the necessary chemo to halt that terrible disease

But in Iraq,
my other self watched her daughter rage with grief
as a blockade
for ten long years
kept the chemo from her Mohammad.

As I know,
she knows
someone who follows jihad
will give his life for jihad.

She knows,
as I know,
soldiers from the USA
will give their lives to protect their faiths and

Will she create a pieta
holding her daughter in her arms as the missiles
as I create a pieta
holding her and her daughter in my arms


                 Justine Merritt,
                 September 24, 2001

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