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OUR tragedy this
Is counted in thousands of dismembered joy
Discounted in caved vengeance with smart bombs

The faithful on that side sang:
“From their caves of Adullam to ours of Afghanistan
We take our stand
From Saladin before to…
The Fearsome Genius (permission to speak in your presence, please)
We sought only a little destruction, a few mangled hundreds perhaps
In honor of
splintered feline pipe-dreams in chevalure quantities
dreams too nightmarish for our age of fundamentalisms

The faithful on this side sang:
“From our crusades of Jerusalem to theirs of Kandahar
We take no prisoners
From de Bouillion before to…
The Brave One (Nostradamus’s prophecy*)
We sought only handover justice, dead or alive
But, God! They gave us JUSTICE INFINITE…!”
In honor of
Polished oversold pedestal-defenses in heavy penal quantities
defenses too unjust for our age of impoverishments

Between them and the War
They forgot the truth of
The pounded mountains into valleys of ash
The widowed woman-child of invisible visage
The thousands disappeared without chemical trace
The ocean-tears of the globe for a people sacrificed without shame
The Snipers of youth with but slings of David
The child-soldier specialists of amputations to cripple free choice
The Generals whose medals and boots shine of blood and brain cells
The Corporate Citizens who “had no choice” when our beloved Ken was hanged
The guns and diamonds they’ve come to value so much our schools die
The 47 million without health insurance in this land of plenty…
They forgot to whisper that each bomb, smart or stupid, is no respecter of rights, but

Between them and us
They did not forget
The little humiliations:
Profiling and threats
So fear is contained before all else is tried
Justice denied before its infinite possibilities
Laughter eavesdropped before it infects all
A cough forbidden before treason is born
Voices silenced before they numb common resolve
Identity encased for peace sakes
The efficiency of military tribunals…

They did not forget to giggle-dance how rights can go to hell
Alarming even Safire

And this
Winter of (dis)content
When terror
Acrobatic bombs
Collateral damage
I see MaCarthy with smitten smile and wide wink
Saying to Nostradamus’ prophecy: “Way to go DobbleYa”

© akwasi aidoo, 12.25.01

*Nostradamus prophesied an “idiot heir” who is of low intelligence.