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Tuesday, October 03, 2006


by Joseph Byrd

Arrogant arbiter of worldly foolishness!
Boorish beekeeper of unwanted interferences, ineptly dipping into the hive for honeys unbecoming and of no belonging to you—you
Contentious cuss of a childish republic! I have one question, if I’m still allowed:
Does democracy yet hold the right to differ with you, or is it now just an empty,
historical echo? Does patriotic duty currently require a closed mouth? I wonder.
This    bullying,
    this earmarking of beloved bad boys; it’s an
Embarrassment. Ever seen a pimp slobber over his
Favorite floozies before sending them into the streets? That’s what you look like,
God grant us mercy.
Hell—who put you in charge as righteous router of the devil’s
Inventory? I don’t recall casting a vote. Oh. That’s right. You’re a Christian nation.
    You’re doing this in the name of
Jesus. Just tell me this: who gave you the
Knife? Killing, my friends, isn’t Christ’s m. o. (though when your number’s finally
    up, he’ll
Likely lop off [cf.
Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:14] your
Nuts ‘n your figs if you’ve spent your days
Offing opponents instead of tending your own gardens). So
Please, people! Stop this belligerence! Stop picking your holy bibles apart,
    pasting together whatever words in there say that war is nothing more than a
    holy chance to roast the devil on this great big, god-blessed American
Que. "Quo jure?" God’ll ask, when you someday face the great tribunal in the sky.
Right, rich, Christian nation, have you
So self-assuredly
Taught the sons and daughters of your country to
Unwittingly usurp, from the great I AM, the decision to take or give life, in
Violence?" Victory’s never built on such. You’ll squirm, stammering
‘Wh—what was that, Lord?’ and he’ll likely thunder back "What was what, you
Zounds!" That’s the word for it, too. Zounds. God’s wounds weren’t for war.

Joseph Byrd
's work has been published by earthsongs, Prism, Foxfire Books, The Westwind Review and Concordia Publishing House. He was an Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts under Joy Harjo in 1996, and currently lives in Holland, MI.