Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Blessing of Small Explosives

--From true events

The sound a bomb makes
is easy enough to mistake,
easy enough to set aside
when there is work at hand,

and even as we step from our
offices and peer upward at the
higher floors of the building,
we are expecting to see that
something has fallen, because
that noise, that profound bang

seemed like a falling body,
a book cart, perhaps, precipitated
from the top floor and coming
to rest outside our door,

but there is nothing, nothing but
faces looking down at us,
asking the same mute question,
wondering the same thing,
not yet ready to consider that
we have been blown up,

and we go back to work, back
to mundane tasks until the call
to evacuate comes to us, and
even then, we walk calmly,
shrugging, into the open,
under the iron gray sky,

and we are directed to
cross the street, to get further
from the building, to establish
a safe distance and let the
gathering authorities do their
work

and we stand together in the
spitting rain and speak of it,
not knowing,

and it was only a small bomb,
after all, and no one was hurt,
so we joke about perhaps
blowing us up on a sunny
day, so that standing
on the public green while
police tape is spread might
be more comfortable,

and we forget to mention
it to friends on the phone,
because, perhaps, bombs
are not so unexpected to
us any more,

and it takes real blood,
real, smoking craters in
the earth and death tolls
on the nightly news to
crack our jaded shell,

and little enough sense
of violation when we are
blown up in only minor
and inept ways, after all,

for we have seen worse
than this, and expect worse,
and know that the world
is not nice, or kind, or
forgiving, though some
of us have still gotten lucky
sometimes, and remained
more or less

whole.

6 comments:

drthunder said...

"-From true events"
Your description of this situation makes me feel as though I were there, too. You're right. We have become desensitized to these kinds of reports, but your words bring many hidden concerns to the surface.

Bobby-T said...

I read this in very much the same way Marilyn did. The idea that we have become inured to the thoughtless acts of violence is disconcerting to say the least. It shouldn't have to take "...real blood..." to sound our moral alarms.

MB said...

I guess I'm not yet inured. I find this stunning. And if it's true in the sense of something that happened to you, I'm glad you are safe.

M. Shahin said...

You really made me feel like I was there. And yes, we are desensitized to violence because the news media and movies glorifies violence and uses tragedies to sell things.

How very sad...but your poem is great, and it reveals this dullness we have to others afflictions.

Hope to read more of your poetry :-)

David Hodges said...

Well done. The matter-of-fact tone lends the story a quiet power.

Firehawk said...

Hey everyone,

Thanks for writing in. I'm fine, no injuries or psychic damage. Just a commentary on our weird world. I appreciate your comments, and I sould be posting another one pretty soon, if I don't get swallowed up completely by the work monster this week.

M. Shahin,

I appreciate your words, and hope to see you back again! I looked at your site briefly, and it's quite an impressive layout.

David Hodges,

Thank you for leaving a comment. I always welcome "new" people with enthusiasm. I post about once per week, so I hope to see you back.

--Patrick

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