“Over There”

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 When the massacres came, we wondered….

 

We thought we were the “Over There” people.

George M. Cohan sang us the way home:

“We won’t come back till it’s over over there.”

 

We said we had to fight them “over there”

so we wouldn’t have to fight them here.

“Home” was mom and sweethearts and apple pie.

 

It was long ago, but it was now. “Now”

was cutting into the line, “Now” was cutting

in on the dance–floor, stealing our girl.

 

“Now” kept issuing edicts; “Now” respected

none of our idols, none of our gods, nothing

we’d “longed for, worshipped or adored.”

 

When the massacres came, we were jolted

into the world of Now, a Never-Never-land

of impossibilities, non-sequiturs.

 

How? Who? Where? Why? Did no one see it coming?

It wasn’t supposed to happen here!

It was okay “over there,” but not in our backyards!

 

Who was watching the store? Who was watching the kids?

We grew inured. We were worn down! We were worn out….

We became like they were “over there.”

 

Even to wonder was an act of defiance.

We stopped wondering. We slaughtered and were slaughtered.

We addicted ourselves to slaughter.

 


About the Author
 Gary Corseri has published/posted poems, articles and stories at The Greanville Post, Uncommon Thought Journal, CounterPunch, Dissident Voice, Transcend Media Service, The New York Times, Village Voice, Redbook Magazine, Common Dreams, and hundreds of other worldwide venues.  His dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and he published novels, poetry collections, and a literary anthology (edited), Manifestations.  He has taught in US and Japanese universities and in US prisons and public schools.  He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. He can be reached at gary_corseri@comcast.net.  


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