Find me words to stop the slaughter.
Find me words which will be heard
and not just heard but taken up,
amplified and echoed. But not
just voiced by millions or painted
onto banners. Find me words which
will pierce concrete walls and steel-clad
minds, find me words which will stop.
Find me powers to lay across
their desks and war-room floors broken
bones and flesh, find me powers to
make them cradle in their arms
the headless child, to salve her mother’s
napalm-shredded skin, unclog
the students’ gas-filled lungs, prise out
the shards of shrapnel while they order
more assaults. If they will not desist,
then give me power to move them
to the cellars, the shattered streets
and farms and make them wait alone
while we decide their future. What
can they offer to atone? The dead
and maimed must speak, pronounce. Find
them words to write the final page.