Buying Time

A man is standing with his hand on a trigger

And I wonder, "Will I wake up tomorrow?" 

Somewhere, a man stands, with his hand on the trigger

And his finger is itching to go: Tap, tap, tap,

 and I wonder, where my grandmother was standing when the radio said, 

"We're at war." 

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I wonder, what was so much more important to her than the deaths of countless men & women, thousands of miles away? Taking a picture of the food she was eating? Trying to fit in to that little blue dress; making sure her hair was puffed & her stockings were straight? Or did reading a letter from my grandfather & hearing some words about 'foreigners' on the news make it all seem ok?

 

I want to ask her,

"Grandma, where were you standing the day that they dropped the bomb?"

But she doesn't remember her name anymore. 

I wonder, did she flinch or ask herself, "Why?"

Did she question, "...was it right?" 

Did she even know anything about anything--

Or was, "The enemy is the enemy," and that's all? 

Have we, like my grandmother, purposefully forgotten

What it means when people die? 

 

Now there's a man standing, with his hand on the trigger, and another across the sea. They are are playing a game of words with each other, and with the lives of you & them & me. 

 

And I wonder, when my students scream, "YEAH!" in the movies, every time the enemy explodes, do they know or remember--in the wake of destruction--that an explosion means somebody doesn't come home? That they do not wake up to go back to their parents or children or lovers on the other side? Do they know that explosions mean sickness, mutilation, the smells of rotting flesh & the crushing of limbs? Have they ever known the stench of blood & burning hair? Of fear that makes you sick to your stomach & piss in your trousers? What do they think 'Dragon Fire' is?

 

There's a man out there, standing, with his hand on the trigger, making sure everyone's watching... 

 ...and I want to yell,  

"S T O P !

PLEASE reconsider--

for everyone's lives, yours AND mine;

for every possible future, please...

I dont want to live in a world without trees,

but I also don't want to leave it...

...please, we cannot undo this thing;

we cannot press rewind.

But we've created a world where no one wants to live; we mostly just want to 'get by.'

We want to start over...is that why I'm on the computer, instead of fighting tooth & nail to do something to make people see?

Can nobody see?

What can I do...when I am just me?

 And I'm standing in a kitchen, on the other side of the world, trying not to cry... 

...and I wonder, will I know, when the trigger is pulled?

Will I feel the quake of it? Hear on the news or wake from my sleep to run to the window, without explanation, to look out to the sky?

...like I did one morning when I was 17, standing in California, and later the news said something about planes in New York...?

 

Or will I even be left to ask,  "Why?"