Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 7
Spring 2013

Who Will Come to Save Me Now?

by Barry North

Written during the first Gulf War
When did I become
so hardened to human suffering?
Who is this monster I do not recognize,
who can sit in front of a T.V.
watching a war
as though it were a mini-series?

Who taught me this trick
of accepting the destruction of 200,000 people
in the blinking of an eye?

When did I learn to look at babies—
with bloated stomachs
crawling with flies,
starving to death in countries
with names I cannot pronounce—
as though they have nothing to do with me?

Who is this creature I cannot abide:
who would sooner part with his humanity
than with his cash;
who can dismiss all of the homeless
with a backward flick of the wrist—
the way Pontius Pilate dismissed a barefooted rebel
dressed in rags—
like so much rubbish,
too despicable to be touched
with his clean Roman hands. 

—From North’s chapbook, Terminally Human (Finishing Line Press, 2013)

—Previously published in Blue Lake Review (March 2013), and Ancient Paths Literary Magazine, Issue 15


SHJ Issue 7
Spring 2013

Barry North

is a sixty-eight-year-old retired refrigeration mechanic. Since his retirement in 2007, he has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, won the 2010 A.E. Coppard Prize for Fiction, and more recently, won Honorable Mention in the 2011 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paterson Literary Review, Slipstream, The Dos Passos Review, and other journals.

He has published two chapbooks: Along the Highway, a fiction chapbook, was published by White Eagle Coffee Store Press in 2010; and his first chapbook of poems, Terminally Human, was published in 2013 by Finishing Line Press.

For more information, visit his website,

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury