Taraday taraday -- The baby sings,

prattling back to the television

as she plays on the floor.

If her parents were here they’d be appalled

at the exposure to such inappropriate programming,

but we who are fearful of a war and addicted to the news

keep watching the commentators and waiting

for some new tragedy.

Then in the middle of reports from the field,

a young woman in her ninth month

tells of the bullets that have invaded her home

whistling past the children playing on the floor.

Suddenly I remember the anchorman

from the Gulf War, telling of his child

just beginning to pick up the sounds around her.

Her first words, he said, were sayaret mufafa,

Arabic for a mined automobile --

such a pleasant sounding phrase.