No Intro, Just Read The Damned Thing
“Fresh violence brought the death toll since Bhutto's assassination in a gun and bomb attack on Thursday to 40 . . . “
-- Zeeshan Haider/Reuters
The images drift before my eyes, silent
On the TV above the bar
Slowing, not stopping, my lunch of corned beef and beer.
Such a familiar sight, for the area,
Yet so unexpected:
The casket borne aloft
Like a chest containing an ancient relic,
So that every hand, each fingertip
Might have the chance for even a fleeting touch.
Yet this cargo is tossed on its ocean of human hands
As a crate slipped overboard
On a rough and perilous sea.
Does this honor the dead?
She is dead, she is dead,
My bartender agrees with me. Only
A matter of time, really, we conclude
Sadly enough. What does it mean?
What does it mean? We both wonder.
And yet our concurrences bring us no closer
To understanding. So it goes, so it goes,
In our great Democracy, so it goes.
What good does it do the State
For muscle to bear against muscle, limb
Against limb, if the net result is to tear muscles,
To dislocate joints, to rip
Limbs from their sockets.
Why bear strength against strength, if the only guaranteed outcome
What did she live for? What did she die for?
Never mind; enter her name
In the book of her dead.
So it goes, so it goes; she is dead.
It has gone from rumor to report to fact,
From conspiracy to accusation.
This is what passes for democracy
In the land of the blind.
The voice of the people is a boom and a blast
And a continual shriek
Of injustice against injustice against injustice.
What good or harm she might have meant
Irrelevant now in the stream of blood
That measures time
As the days tumble from morning to night
Across the desert
And into the hills
And off into the bleak expanses
Why did she live? Why did she die?
Mark her down in the book of the dead.