A Poem by Abeer Ameer

The Ring

After ‘Life and Death Surrounded by Gas Flares in Iraq’ published on BBC News Website 29th September 2022

Benzene is the only ring
this thirteen-year-old will wear.
Its vows in her marrow, her lungs
rehearsed with each new flare,
it fills the breath and urine of the children,
the surrounding oil-field air.

She sees its fire from the family farm,
can’t escape the hydrocarbon grip,
black gold, which lines the pockets
of those concerned ones, near and far.
C6 H6 : casualties in the struggle
of their irresistible fellowship.

Abeer Ameer’s poems have appeared widely in journals including Acumen, The Rialto, The Poetry Review, Magma, New Welsh Reader and Poetry Wales. Her debut poetry collection, Inhale/Exile, in which she shares stories of Iraq, was published by Seren in 2021 and shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year 2022.