The ragged edged concrete slab lay tilted
uneasily on the dusty rubble.
Above it heavy layer squatted,
inert but filled with malice,
“don’t mess with me” it sneered.
The young woman stood statue-like,
elegant in her form-fitting black dress
soiled, with a single streak of dusty mud,
a slash from the earthquake’s rape.
My gaze followed her quivering finger
pointing at a bruised dusty bloodied arm
poking lifeless from the crushing concrete jaws.
I can barely hear her quivering voice
above the helicopter’s battering sound,
“My sister, my lovely sister” she pleads,
but what can I say to comfort her.

~ David Reid

David Reid was born in Belfast in 1940, was awarded a PH.D. at Queen’s University of Belfast in 1967, and emigrated to Canada with his wife in 1968 to take a position in the Department of Biology. In 1976 he became a Professor of Botany (and a Canadian) at the University of Calgary and Head of the Department of Biological Sciences 1999-2005. His teaching, research and publications (about 160 published papers published in international refereed scientific journals) dealt with matters pertaining to plants and in particular how they survive nasty and ever changing environments. In 2009, David wrote three 900-word op-ed pieces for the Calgary Herald on global warming.

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