This poem was written six years ago during the opening phase of the war against the Taliban.|
NOT IN KANSAS
Smart bombs are only as smart
As whoever it is who reads the maps.
(A sharp left here...no...right...no…left..
Oh bugger!) Is there footage somewhere-
Not to be aired for fifty years-
Of people dragging body parts
Of people whom we’re not at war with
Out of the homes we didn’t intend
To flatten? There’s a fleeting glimpse
In one of John Huston’s little films
About the battle for Italy
Of the sort of thing they’re doing now
In Afghanistan: some gentle soldiers
Ease a corpse from a sump of rubble
As if they were helping a stiff-armed granny
Get out of bed. The three star, two star,
One star generals wanted that movie
Shelved. “ The assholes,” Huston said.
And now as then the guys in charge
Are nannying us, so what we're shown
Is bits of flimsy, pretty stuff
Like big explosions and night scope footage
Of paratroops. And the night scope footage
Is emerald green. Our boys drift down
As little black dots, like spores, like seeds,
On a rocky desert as green as Oz.