Astonishing The Enemy –for the peace-makers

peace 1

“And I will bring the land into desolation; and your enemies
that dwell therein shall be astonished at it.”

 -- Leviticus; 26.32 

About Mr. X, we needn’t be too kind.
He was never one of us, but rather
Odd, the way he urged we keep an open mind
About things we’d already made our minds up on!

He seemed inclined to constantly upset
Our apple carts; not so much by anything
He said as by the way he’d sit and fret
About our doing nothing about suffering.

We never tired of explaining how
We had our lives and were content to fill
Our places in the Grand Design–or how
The world went on and on and men would spill,

From time to time, innocent blood, or
How this figured in “The Great Necessity,”
Was, in fact, inexplicable, taken for
Granted, part of our preferred reality.

Mr. X grew gloomier, began to quote
Biblical texts about loving neighbors.
Our holy seers advised him not to note
Inconsistencies in the human heart.

I do not know when we began to perceive
Mr. X was an alien being;
Or when, one by one, we came to believe
For the good of all, he must be eliminated….

It is ever so much more pleasant now
Without that vague malaise overhanging
Our transactions…. We barely remember how
His sad expression made us all uneasy.

Gary Corseri has taught in US public schools and prisons, and at US and Japanese universities. His prose and poems have appeared at Countercurrents, Counterpunch, Village Voice, The New York Times, Redbook Magazine, and hundreds of other periodicals and websites.  His dramas have been produced on Atlanta-PBS and elsewhere, and he has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum.  His books include novels, and the poetry volume, “Random Descent” (Anhinga Press).  He can be contacted at [email protected].


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