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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


by Phyllis Wax

The man who doesn't read a newspaper
can't visualize children cringing
at the sound of engines overhead or gunfire
in the street. It never crosses his mind
that people will hate soldiers
if they kick in their doors, ransack their homes.
These are not images his mind can capture.

This is only a movie and
he's the director in a white ten-gallon hat.
War is theoretical and clean:
black hats and white hats.
No messy pools of red.

Phyllis Wax keeps up with the news in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when she is not sailing up the Niger on her way to Timbuktu or trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Her poem "Fatalities in Iraq: 2nd Edition" appears in the recently released anthology on peace and justice, Out of Line.