Oh Tigris, Oh Euphrates

Oh Tigris, Oh Euphrates watching Greek armies,
Roman archers, legionnaires armed to the teeth, British
forces, American military, empire-building further, further
east and south across your deserts, hills, ravines, cities,
villages, their shape-shifting alliances, offensives, counter-
insurgencies, crushing the centuries old silk-trade routes
 
Oh Tigris descending Armenian highlands,
Oh Euphrates born in Kurdistan, watering Kunsa’s
garden of Eden, marrying as one grand current sweeping
through Basra emptying into the Persian Sea
 
Oh Tigris, Oh Euphrates witness of Greeks, Romans,
British, Americans sighting enemies over the next ridge,
ever expanding military exploits taking a toll on men,
women, children, plants, animals, here and at home:
the homeless, the unemployed, the sick, the orphans,
the widows, the aged, the rich richer, the poor poorer
 
Oh Tigris, Oh Euphrates seeing generations of generals
crossing your sacred shores, their unquenchable thirst
for wealth, power, influence, aiming to outdo others,
not forgetting Alexander’s legendary exploits in Persia
 
Oh Tigris, Oh Euphrates birthing Babylonian, Persian,
Shiite, Sunni, Kurdish girls and boys by your endless flow
of waters, while the Greeks, Romans, British, Americans
sought your artifacts, resources, strategically set
at the crossroads of civilization, Oh Tigris, Oh Euphrates.
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