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Thursday, April 17, 2008


by Wayne Crawford

Ten minute walk west of Abraham Lincoln’s tomb.
4:20 p.m., April 17, 2007. Springfield, Illinois.
An elderly man in long-sleeves steps off
his front porch slab, walks to his flagpole
near the street, drops

the U.S. flag to half-mast.
Blacksburg, Virginia. Same day.
The campus of Virginia Tech. Police identify
the 23-year old student/killer of 30 students and
faculty. Flags drop to half-mast across the country.

The same Tuesday. Washington D.C. The govern-
ment reports 3,300
U.S. service personel killed
                    so far in the war in Iraq.
Among the most recent: Male, 32, Texas. Male,
25, Indiana. Male, 29, Illinois. Male, 20, Ohio.
Male, 19, Idaho.

Same Tuesday. Geneva, Switzerland. Representatives
of Jordon and Syria ask the international community
to help meet the needs of nearly two million
Iraqi civilians
          driven from their homes by war.

Wednesday. Campus of New Mexico State University.
Flags fly at half-mast for Virginia Tech. Earlier
this year. NMSU athletic director and
his lieutenants replace the school
mascot, Lasso

Larry, afraid
he won’t rope in the manly fans they propose
to sell beer to during football games. They rally
around Pistol Pete, probably don’t discuss the obvious

motto: If you can’t beat ‘em , shoot ‘em. Probably
won’t take responsibility for 8,000
sports fans, both barrels

at the end of a losing game.
Pistol Petes in administration.
Pistol Petes among the regents.
Pistol Petes in the legislature.
          Pistol Petes in the Whitehouse.
Pistol Petes nowhere held

Wayne Crawford manages the online literary journal, Lunarosity, and is co-managing editor of Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders, an annual anthology of New Mexico writers and others in that region. His work has appeared in New Verse News before, as well as in Mannequin Envy, Shampoo, Motherbird, and many others. His latest publication, a book-length collection of poetry, Sugar Trail, was released in September 2007. Sugar Trail can be purchased (and excerpts read) at