A Sniper Poem: Metaphor

Issue 

When using force to secure the peace,
and encouraging more shopping to save the economy,
and children and teens play video games that reward
for every person decapitated and limb severed.
When old women and babies are pepper-sprayed
and rubber bullets disperse a peaceful protest,

Why is America surprised that a lone sniper
haunts the highways,
schoolyards and gas stations
of our nation's capital?

When the president's press secretary openly
nay, blatantly,
calls for the assassination
of a nation's sovereign leader,

And we lock men in cement-floored cages
isolating them from their homes and families
on an island and call them detainees
so they have no rights and can be held indefinitely,

When we won't let our nation's legitimate press
tell us the truth, show us the horror
that is the Afghan war,
But we will let a Hollywood director
make a "war reality show"
with Pentagon assistance,

Why is America stunned
at the wanton slaughter
perpetrated by a lone sniper
who kills in the dailiness
of pumping gas, mowing lawns and going to school?

When a president divides the world
into arbitrary camps of
good and evil,

When our foreign policy
plunges us into the madness of pre-emptive war,
When there's always enough money for bombs,
but never enough for the children,
and double speak phrases like
'regime change' become the norm,

Ask yourself,

Instead of only one lone sniper,
Will there be thousands more?

BY ANN BRACKEN

From Green Left Weekly, October 30, 2002.
Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.

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