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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


by Scot Siegel

Sleepless or dream consciousness,
Doesn't matter – another twenty thousand troops
Do their second tour of duty
In less than eighteen months
Our commanders entrenched
In the Oval Office are making maps again
They keep the blinds down
While Generals at the Pentagon shout orders
To their heirs in the green zone
Who keep pulling the blinds open
Straining for a view of the draw down coming...


Meanwhile, the druggist’s eldest son from Spearfish, South Dakota
     and the plumber’s lesbian daughter from Mobile , Alabama
     and the nurse’s sister from Hollister , California
     and the valedictorian from Bliss, Idaho
     and the veterinarian’s brother from Sandoval , New Mexico
     and the failed actress without a permanent address in LA
     and the burned-out waitress runaway
     and the young rapist who’s record was expunged –

All carry supplies, and walk ahead scouting for snipers
Sweeping mines, or walking behind
Watching for incoming missiles
Back of the hundred mile convoy. Gritty.


Meanwhile, at home in the good old USA ,
A Chevy Impala pierces the blue heat of the Interstate
In Iowa, Spring slips a disc into summer’s flooding…
And in Oregon, our green city spills over its banks full of itself...
As I watch my wife sleeping in, sheets rising with her belly-breathing

     and the television blooms yesterday’s news –

Scot Siegel is an urban planner and poet from Lake Oswego, Oregon, where he serves on the Lake Oswego City Planning Commission and the Board of Trustees for the Friends of William Stafford. His first full-length poetry collection Some Weather is forthcoming from Plain View Press in 2009.