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Friday, September 24, 2010


by Ed Shacklee

The poppy's a dream for the reaping
as it nods in Afghanistan's fields
and is fed by the bones and the weeping
a graveyard of empires yields.

For the Afghan has always been known
for his fierce but hospitable way --
he loves anyone who will leave him alone,
and he hates anyone who would stay,

and the poppy, whose blooms are like fires,
will grow as it feeds on our dreams
in a graveyard of pipe dream empires,
including our country’s, it seems,

Ed Shacklee is a public defender who represents children in the District of Columbia.