If you See a Bombie, do not Touch it!

Lao women have forged a close friendship performing a dangerous task to free their country of lethal vestiges of war.

Here’s a poem I wrote after watching Foreign Correspondent on 15 July 2014.

“If you see a bombie, do not touch it!”

They are small, only the size of a tennis ball
Millions scattered over the green country
Their deadly touch lying in wait

“If you see a bombie, do not touch it!”
Sing the little children, innocent souls, not even
Born when the bombs rained down on their parents

Every eight minutes, for nine years
While bloody battles raged in Vietnam
Now, decades later, still killing and maiming

“If you see a bombie, do not touch it!”
Teachers teach while mothers clear the land
Equipped with probes and vital instructions

How to detonate the cluster bombs
Shed on Laos every eight minutes
For nine years during the brutal war

Only the size of a tennis ball, but deadly
Difficult to see, pretending to be a rock
After four decades of rain and dust

Twenty thousand people killed or maimed
Since the deadly rains had ceased
As if the end of war was not

“If you see a bombie, do not touch it!”
But they mightn’t see the deadly trap!
Like the blind and handless farmer

Now walking through his village
Clinging to his loving wife
This new life trying to accept

There’s no anger in his heart
Such are Lao people, and the culprit
Says: “Let’s increase our annual funding.”

Twelve million dollars to be precise
Ten million more than all the years before
“If you see a bombie, do not touch it!”

Sing the little Lao children
While their brave and able mothers
Go on clearing the infested land


Cluster bomblets have been nicknamed “bombies” by the locals.
The United States dropped more than 260 million cluster bomblets on Laos during the Vietnam War.

Lao women leading effort to clear millions of
unexploded bombs left over from Vietnam War

Foreign Correspondent 15 July 2014 http://www.abc.net.au By Sally Sara

Copyright 2014 Irina Dimitric

About irinadim

Kookaburra sweet, you neither chirp nor tweet. Your laughter is much like mine, my cackle is much like thine. We are two sister souls, one clad in feathers, the other in clothes. ~ Irina ~ I’m a budding blogger. Poetry and photography are my newest passions, living in perfect harmony inspiring each other. I like both free verse and form poetry and am quite proud to let you know that I am the creator of a new form named ‘tercetonine’. Blog Name: Irina's Poetry Corner Blog URL: http://irinadim.com
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13 Responses to If you See a Bombie, do not Touch it!

  1. terramere says:

    How well you portray a horrible reality.

  2. How awful that it was ever deemed necessary and that the effects are still so far-reaching. I never knew of this. I have no idea how it is funded but it seems to me that leaving such a job to mothers is perpetuating a cruel legacy. The responsibility for such a mammoth task seems highly misplaced. Thank you for sharing this although it is hard to read of such things.x

    • irinadim says:

      You’re right, it’s not fair. Unfortunately, small countries are powerless against big powers. The US has increased its funding, which is a good thing, but is it enough? it would be great if US engineers came to clear up the mess.

  3. slpsharon says:

    Those all through Viet Nam and Cambodia too.

  4. Such a powerful post, Irina. A sad reality of the aftermath of war that many do not see or think about. Thank you for sharing this with Artists 4 Peace.

  5. Pingback: If you See a Bombie, do not Touch it! | Artists4Peace

  6. Wow. Very powerful poem…and the continued horrors of war on civilians generations later.

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