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Updated: 2008-05-24 08:00

I cannot tell if the hands that fall

Like tears from the rubble's face

Belong to a girl or a boy, or girl and boy,

Twisted there, together for ever,

In the rubble's fast embrace.

And I do not know their names,

Dates of birth, or where they came from,

Only that someone somewhere

Waits in dread, yet knows already,

They will not come home again.

And I know too well the sound of wailing,

Mothers kneeling, keeling and keening,

Clinging to children they cannot relinquish,

Babies they carried, cradled and suckled,

Now laid out in rows, waiting for burial.

By Bu Zai

(China Daily 05/24/2008 page4)