Blood Soaked Dresses is a recently published book of poetry by Boston area poet Gloria Mindock. The book was recently reviewed in the Boston Globe:
Every day we wake to newspapers full of new human catastrophes of all types in various places, year after year, decade after decade. Bosnia, Aceh, Sudan, Bhopal blur in our minds into a vague disaster stew. And though we are caring people, we are human and the tragedies are painful. So we ignore. We forget. Unless someone insists on reminding us, as Gloria Mindock does of the civil war that raged in El Salvador from 1980 to 1992. In her new poetry collection, "Blood Soaked Dresses," she holds up the events so we cannot look away...
Now she wants us to remember that as long as there are survivors to remember, tragedies continue to echo long after the news photographs and on-the-scene reports have faded. And even without survivors, the facts remain. And so Mindock has made it her mission to bear witness, as centuries of writers, composers, and visual artists have done before. (more).
Here is one of the poems of bitter memory from the book:
El Salvador, 1983
Somewhere, someone is mourning
for the body of a brilliant one.
Man or woman, it doesn't matter.
The tears in this country, an entrance
to a void . . . shadows touching skin like frost.
A star fell north of this city. Armies parade around
in their uniforms bragging about the killings.
Dead bodies thrown into a pit, cry.
Flesh hits wind, wind hits flesh.
How many dead?
Finally, they are covered with dirt at noon.
All eyelids are closed.
No one knows nothing.
No breathing assaults to hold us. The bitter ash
weeps over the world, and no other country
wants to see it, taste
the dead on their tongue or wipe away all
You can purchase Blood Soaked Dresses at this link.