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Spring 2007

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Every five Seconds
Carl Stillwell

I look around and dead people are all that I can see. 
650,000 Iraqis have died since the United States invasion.
Every five seconds a child dies because that child is hungry.

President Bush says he'll stick by the figure of 30,000 dead Iraqis. 
But still too many innocent have died and he sends his consolation.
I look around and dead people are all that I can see.

25,000 people condemned every day to die from poverty.
720 children per hour, 12 per minute – dead from starvation.
Every five seconds a child dies because that child is hungry.

On 911, 3,000 people died and changed everything it seems.
But everyday 16 skyscrapers of famished inmates perish by hunger’s execution.
I look around and dead people are all that I can see

Nine million people – six million of them juveniles and babies –
Complete life’s journey by what Nazis called the “final solution.” 
Every five seconds a child dies because that child is hungry.

The wealthy few profit from a global market which excludes the needy--
Those whose malnourished bodies will be buried with little, if any lamentation.
I look around and dead people are all that I can see. 
Every five seconds a child dies because that child is hungry.
 
(This villanelle is based on an email post by Marc Norton called, “All I See Are Dead People,” which was first published in BEYOND CHRON, October 20, 2006.)