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Sunday, April 01, 2007

SECOND COMING IN BAGHDAD

by Joe Paddock


Rare candies
and wagonloads of flowers
would await them, and streets
lined with Muslims, kneeling
in adoration, hour upon hour,
and yes, sweet flights of angels
would waft down from the sky
on wings bought at Wal-Mart, singing
in country-tune harmonies, strumming
great golden Dreadnought guitars, and,
yes, yes, can’t you just see him?
Dubya himself riding in
on his prancing and photogenic
white donkey with palm branches waving
along his flower-strewn way, and yes!
Dubya’s finger would lift just a bit and all
foolish old Iraqi institutions would vanish
in a shower of golden light through which
would come goose-stepping corporate America
and the magic of the holy bottom line
would set everything finally aright
in that ancient land.


Joe Paddock is a poet, oral historian, and environmental writer. He has been a Regional Poet for Southwestern Minnesota, a poet-in-residence for Minnesota Public Radio at Worthington, and has taught in the Creative Writing Department of the University of Minnesota. His books of prose include Soil and Survival (Sierra Club Books) and Keeper of the Wild (Minnesota Historical Society Press). His books of poetry include Handful of Thunder (Anvil Press), Earth Tongues (Milkweed Editions), Boars’ Dance (Holy Cow! Press), and A Sort of Honey (Red Dragonfly Press). For his poetry he has received the Lakes and Prairies Award of Milkweed Editions and the Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction.