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Friday, September 11, 2020


by Dawn Corrigan

At Least 37 Million People Have Been Displaced by America’s War on Terror: A new report calculates the number of people who fled because of wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001.—The New York Times, September 8, 2020. Photo: A Somali woman carried wood to make a shelter in a camp for internally displaced people in December 2018. Credit: Mohamed Abdiwahab/Agence France-Presse —Getty Images via The New York Times.

   Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation
   can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely
   under the influence of a great fear.
   —Bertrand Russell

Never forget, they say, as if we have a choice.
Never forget, as though we have minds
eager to comply with orders, willing recruits
dropping to give us twenty, standing guard duty,
lifting the mask to suck in gas and mutter
our rank and SSN. But the minds we have
are AWOL at least half the time, poor soldiers
dropping their guns in battle, abandoning plans,
neglecting the mission in favor of a story
about us and that high school crush,
or us and a pile of money,
or us and a bottle as big as the world.
We remember, but not because they say to.
We remember because our minds like chaos
even more than peace. They urge us to remember,
a wish they share with that other they, the they
who made Father close his blinds forever,
Mother shiver at the sight of every plane.

Dawn Corrigan is still waiting for the Age of Anxiety to end.