[Found poem]

 

Abdisalem Hadthi and his son cowered

in the quiet of their living room,

at each torrent of bullets

that rained on the limestone brick

and mortar walls outside.

 

A unit of Gaddafi's gunmen burst in

through the door,

and ordered him  at gunpoint

to hoist the green ensign on his rooftop outside.

 

"I told them that I was a loyalist,"

he stopped to recollect his will,

as his eyes scanned the fresh bullet scars

that potted the roof of his villa.

 

"At which point they said:

'Ok, fly the flag.’

 

And I flew it.

 

"Then their comrades outside began to retreat;

and they pulled up the flag,

folded it up,

and left.


It must have flown

for about three minutes in all."

 

Neighbors and survivors hit the street

with rave parties: they danced,

and chanted "Allāhu Akbar;"  

hurled curses

at the gorgon

and the men emptied their kalashnikovs

into the thin desert air.


They buried martyred rebel fighters 

with full honors, and left the lifeless Gaddafi mercenaries

to glisten in the desert sun.

 

"It's been a living hell here

for the last two weeks, I tell you,"

Zakary Mufta, Abdisalem’s son, reckoned

surveying his surroundings.

 

His living room wall sported a serving-hatch style hole

gorged by a Gaddafi tank shell.

The shell still lay intact on the green carpeted floor -

like a baby's toy.


"Thank God it didn't detonate.

 

I was among the rebel fighters

who tried to keep Gaddafi's forces at bay,

but they had planes, tanks, rocket launchers.

And all we had was guns.

 

"At one point, the Gaddafi guys

drove around in civilian cars,

shooting at anyone in the street;

and you couldn't see who was friend or foe."

 

Next to one of the stricken tanks

which studded the street, was the uncollected

and insect-ridden corpse of a dead fighter.

 

Besides him, lay a log book

written in English, titled "Record of Fired Rounds."

It had a hand-written entry in it that stated

it had fired some 33 rounds of live ammunition.

 

In the section that said:

"Kind and Purpose of Firing,"


the author had simply struck a ~

 

Achirri Ishmael

 

Original source: The Telegraph: Colin Freeman, Inside Ajdabiyah: "Celebrations and corpses after Libyan rebels sweep in and pro-Gaddafi flags pulled down," 26 Mar 2011

 

 

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