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Tuesday, April 17, 2007


by George Held

The terror has come home
Where it’s always been—

Charles Starkweather coming to call
In the Nebraska countryside,

Charles Whitman sniping at students
From the U of T bell tower,

The boys of Columbine armed
Like figures in a video game,

Now the gunman with a .22
And a 9 millimeter and a vest

Full of ammo clips playing
The Grim Reaper at Va Tech

While every night we watch
The bloody aftermath

Of improvised weapons
And shoulder-fired missiles

In Baghdad, Karbala, Baquba
But only French and Arab TV

Shows the collateral corpses
Torn apart by missiles

And bombs stamped Made in USA
And aimed by the tenant

Of The White House, now
A Red House steeped in the blood

He has spilled like our other
Home-made terrorists

In Nebraska and Texas
And Colorado and Virginia

And waiting to strike soon
In a state where you live.

George Held's chapbook W Is for War (Cervena Barva Press, 2006) contains two poems nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He contributes regularly to The New Verse News.