The Monday Poem: ‘Bosnia Bosnia’ by June Jordan

The Monday Poem is brought to you by Professor Jim Gormley of the English Department.

Too bad
there is no oil
between her legs

that 4-year-old Muslim girl and
her 5-year-old sister
and the 16-year-old babysitter
and the 20-year-old mother of that 4-year-old/that
Muslim child gang raped
from dawn to dark to time become damnation
Too bad
there is no oil
between her legs
Too bad there is no oil
between Srebrenica and Sarajevo
and in between the standing of a life
and genocide
Too bad
there is no oil
Too bad
there is no oil
between her legs
the woman in Somalia
who weighs 45 pounds and
who has buried village elders and
who has buried village children
who weighed even less
than she weighs after so many days
of hunger gaping open
to the flies
Too bad
there is no oil
in South Central L.A.
and in between the beaten men and beatup women
and in between the African and Asian throwaways
and in between the Spanish and the English speaking
homeless
and in between the dealers and the drugged
and in between the people and criminal police
too bad
there is no oil
Too bad
there is no oil
between her legs
that 4-year-old Muslim girl
Too bad
there is no oil
between her legs
June Jordan. Image from Wikimedia CommonsJune Jordan authored several books of poetry and essays as well as plays, a libretto, a novel, a memoir, and children’s books. A recipient of a Congressional Certificate of Special Recognition, Jordan also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Conference of Black Writers and the PEN Center Freedom to Write Award; she was nominated for the National Book Award as well. At the University of California, Berkeley, she taught teachers to instruct poetry from a multicultural worldview. After her death from breast cancer in 2002, a school in the San Francisco School District was renamed in her honor.