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Thursday, June 22, 2006


by Elizabeth Pietrzak

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, suicide bombers
threaten aid workers as well as the insurgent
American troops. Rumsfeld parrots:
"Improvements every day!"
while even our soldiers lack faith
that the Afghan Army will soon be ready
to face the Taliban on their own.

In a rare photo op, two Afghan soldiers
pose with an American-made AK-47
while Lieutenant Average American Soldier instructs,
like a father on the basics of how to operate a lawn mower.
Only this father's smile lacks genuine sincerity.
His movement betrays him as he leaves
the outdoor photo studio, he still has
reservations about turning his back
to the Afghan he has just trained and armed.

Elizabeth Pietrzak, Claremont, California, is a mostly-vegetarian poet who spurns the meat of global over-consumption in favor of a sustainable, locally grown lifestyle. She received her BA from the University of La Verne and is pursuing an MFA at Antioch University, Los Angeles. She is writing her first novel as well as a collection of poetry, and her first chapbook, The Scent of Kisses in the Dark, was adapted into a performance by Kirsten Ogden in May 2005. She has co-authored a solo performance with Rob'n Lewis which is currently in development.