Change the bedding.
          Rescue the last
                                 clean shirt.

Heads on top
of each other.
              Feet unshod.

This genocide 
                   is yet

to tumble into

Garbage rots, reeks
                             under the sun.

Smoke rises

There's nothing impermissible
in the bunker.

What's the value of this blueprint?

Something quite other than
god-awful rumor,
guns trained on their backs.

Air-raids, rubble, fog.
Evidence heats up again, and again.


Copyright © 2022 by Uche Nduka. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 26, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I can’t stand the idiocy of war. This poem speaks to war, violence, and displacement with clarity and urgency. It disagrees with war as a blueprint for anything. I wrote it to castigate those who use force and intimidation to get their way; to earn influence. I am angered at the disruption visited upon peoples’ lives each time war erupts in any part of the world. The writing of this poem was compelled by the outbreak of war in Ukraine and the ongoing, vicious aggression of Russia in that country. ‘Document’ highlights and rejects military destruction.”
—Uche Nduka