Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

Black September

In memory of Lutfi Barakat, killed Amman, September 1970.

There was a war.

There was a bitter, civil

war in Jordan.

There was a gun.

There was a bullet, stray.

There was a young man writhing in the splinters of the shattered window pane.

There was an overcrowded hospital.

There were the children to look after—

there was no chance for her to follow him.

There was a week of waiting while they fought it out.

There was a lull—

But he was dead:

had died three hours after his arrival,

was buried in an unmarked grave.

There were no victors: only victims.