The US did this

The US did this

The US did this

The tragedy of Afghanistan

Used the people of Afghanistan

as collateral damage

in their Cold War

against the Russians

The US did this

The pain of a poet

writing about his father

with Alzheimers

Compare the pain

of being born in

a country of Imperialism

A country of

death and destruction

Crisscrossing the world

like an all-powerful global tornado

creating a wide path

of death and destruction

The poet

trying and failing

to get his father

with Alzheimers

to use the toilet

The woman born

in the USA

trying and failing

to get her country

to respect human rights

to give up global hegemony

to give up militarism, war

and nuclear weapons

Watching Afghans trying

to escape the Taliban

created by the US

to attack the Russians

The pain becomes anger

shouting at the television

The US did this

Author: Pamela Collett

I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. I have a B.A. from Stanford University and a M.Sc. from Cornell University. I have lived and worked in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland, California as well as in Washington, DC. Outside the United States, I lived and worked in Venezuela, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Uganda, Somalia and Kenya. I currently live in Canberra, Australia. I edited three books: Bold Plum: with the Guerillas in China's War against Japan by Hsiao Li Lindsay; Peace and Milk: Scenes of Northern Somalia by James Lindsay and Fatima Jibrell; and Solo vale si piensas rápido by Mehedy Lopez, a book of poetry in Spanish. In 2016, I published a book of my poetry and drawings, Silence Spoken. I have taught communication skills, English as a second language, and English for journalists (in Beijing, China) at university and secondary school levels. I was a features writer for the Daily Journal, (Caracas, Venezuela), and The Chronicle of Higher Education. I am a member of the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Writers Centre, active in a writers’ group and a contributor to poetry readings, That Poetry Thing, in Canberra, Australia.

2 thoughts on “The US did this”

  1. Oh, Pamela,
    Yes. And yes again. What we are witnessing is such an epic failure… that – in so many ways – could have been otherwise, except for all of which you so powerfully write.
    And it’s people’s lives.
    And you write not as someone who stands by but who gets stuck in, puts hands and heart and all you have where your mouth is, and you take action. I know you were there, helping. Your poem is powerful. Thank you for giving voice to what many people are feeling.


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