by Jane Piirto

_____"I had it in mind/ to slay Kaleva's kin
to get the Sampo to Northland." Runo 42

    "That was a good hunt. There were a lot of rabbits there."
    --Serbian soldier, 7/13/95

    in the moonlight the back hoes
    wove into the stony field

    Nezad Avdic, 17, wounded
    collapsed sideways

    piled bodies made the field
    seem covered by low bushes

    Hurem Suljic, 55, crippled
    boarded the bus as ordered

    they were taken to Bratunac
    put into a warehouse

    busloads of Muslim men
    came and went

    400 crowded in
    soldiers took 40 out in back

    young, strong, virile ones
    beat them, killing them

    their animal screams
    sounded like a slaughterhouse

    next day they ordered
    10 men to bury them

    that afternoon the Serbs
    separated Nezad and the others

    put them in a schoolhouse
    sent their women on a march

    Dutch peacekeepers called for air strikes
    U.N. commander Bernard Janvier
    vetoed the idea

    Srebreniça was already lost

    Bosnian Serbian Army General
    Satko Mladic threatened to massacre

    diplomats urged Serbian President
    Slobodan Milosevic to rein Mladic in

    afraid more peacekeepers would be held hostage
    the Dutch looked on quiet

    while Mladic's Serbs
    put the men on buses

    the war crime tribunal at the Hague
    arrested Mladic in 1999

    we saw it all on television.
    don't you remember? during dinner?

    with green peas and corn
    french fries and burgers

    "Faster! Faster! Go!

    nurse Christine Schmidt wrote
    "Everybody should feel the

    violence on the faces
    of Bosnian Serb soldiers."

    satellite photos on July 13, 1995
    from a U-2 spy plane

    2 weeks later showed up
    only some freshly turned fields

    at another school nearby
    2,500 blindfolded men boarded school buses

    they took them to the damp moonlit fields
    shot them in small rows of four abreast

    Suljic nestled under two dead men
    saw it all

    Hakija Husseinovic, age 52
    taken to an agricultural warehouse

    Serbs shot through the window
    with automatic rifles and grenade launchers

    he covered himself with two bodies
    waited for two days

    a priest expressed no remorse at the killings
    only at tortures

    "I would kill a Turk
    but wouldn't torture."

    in October thousands
    of men and boys

    captured around Banja Luca disappeared
    with no word on their fate

    to Dayton, Ohio's Wright
    Patterson Air Force Base

    Mlosovic came for proximal peace talks
    sitting in separate rooms

    they passed messages back and forth
    the night the story broke

    in the New York Times
    the ABC Nightly News featured

    a story about the miracle of science
    showing us how the human brain

    processes information and where
    by now it is all so prosaic

    Rwanda, Nigeria, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala,
    Armenia, the Holocaust, Tibet, Cambodia

    but no one will ever plumb
    black depths of the human heart

    the tribal vendettas will be perpetuated
    through the centuries

    revenge breeds revenge
    blood tells blood rules and blood damns

    til the ozone layer dissipates
    and the sun burns earth

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