Sunday, March 19, 2006


Three years ago today, the Iraq War started. It took me a week to get around to producing my response. But here it is, to commemorate the day.



When my son was small he asked me
and I said, “There
        are no monsters — there
        are only people.”
So innocent he was he heard in that
nothing but a father’s reassurance.
But never has there been a time when
somewhere darkness did not hold at night
        those grim foreboding forms,
        reaching out a fist
                to knock the moonless knocks of
drab and hard-eyed men —
or worse, smiling.

The man who’s being hanged,
the woman raped and smothered,
        they cry not out
for us to come and save them.
The captive —
        whose glance darts to catch
        warning of the next blow —
has no thought of crafting careful phrases,
no thought but how to keep breathing.
And yet there is no heart that holds no place,
there is no race of men that does not ache
        for freedom.

And we know they know that
        somewhere in this world is a power
that can, if it should choose,
bestir itself from indolence,
stretch out its arm
and rescue liberty.
For such a time as this have we been
        raised and given power.
We must act because we can.



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