Poem-a-Day - "Document" by Uche Nduka

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July 26, 2022 

Document

Uche Nduka

Change the bedding.
          Rescue the last
                                 clean shirt.

Heads on top
of each other.
              Feet unshod.

This genocide 
                   is yet

to tumble into
memory.

Garbage rots, reeks
                             under the sun.

Smoke rises
from
bodies
in
flames.

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.

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“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

Uche Nduka is the author of Fretwire, forthcoming from Griots Lounge in 2022, among other titles. The recipient of fellowships and prizes from the Goethe-Institut, the Heinrich Böll House, the Association of Nigerian Authors, and the New York State Council on the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts, he lives in Brooklyn, New York. 
 
Fretwire
(Griots Lounge Publishing, 2022)

“In Time of War” by Carolyn Forché
read more
“mountain language” by Öykü Tekten
read more

Thanks to Erica Hunt, author of Jump the Clock (Nightboat Books, 2020), who curated Poem-a-Day for this month’s weekdays. Read or listen to a Q&A about Hunt’s curatorial approach and find out more about our guest editors for the year
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