Sunday, June 15, 2008

this act of kindness

a found poem

There was No. 1009
an 80-year-old paraplegic
white-bearded grandfather
who clung to me
when it was time
for me to leave

No. 1154
Dr. Ali Shah
choked back tears
as he recalled
the last time
he saw his daughter

No. 1021
Chaman Guil
crouched in his cage
and wept out of fear
that his family
would forget him

No. 977
a six-foot Afghan
granted permission
to view a home video
of his family
who he had not seen in
five years

When he saw his
children on tape
he inched closer
to the screen
laughing and weeping

Finally he said
For the rest of my life
I will remember this act
of kindness

Mahvish Rukhsana Khan, writing in the Summer 2008 issue of the magazine of Amnesty International about the men she met while acting as a Pashto translator at Guantanamo.

Khan is now a lawyer and the author of My Guantanamo Diary: The Detainees and the Stories they Told Me.

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