Them Bones

Them Bones

            After Ann Wright
 
 
Appreciate, their point of view
improves as they draw closer
to you, your footfalls echoing in
 
the alley you scurried past every day
as if it contained a boogeyman from
childhood closet, from under bed.
 
What was it dad said, about facing down
the monster in that dream, about not asking questions,
about defeating it—utterly.
 
The bones it has to pick with you are
your bones. 
 
The ground on which we stand is
the only holy ground there ever was—
wherever you go, there it is.
 
                                    Robert Bové
 
 
 
 
Back in 2002, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) infamously asked, "Why is this man (Osama bin Laden) so popular around the world? Why are people so supportive of him in many countries … that are riddled with poverty?"
 
Citizen Smash finds a former US Diplomat riffing from the same morally equivalent songbook:
 
ANN WRIGHT: ...Why is Bin Laden and al Qaeda [sic] intent on doing harm to the people of America? Is there a reason why they are after us? And, if there are some reasons... should we consider, perhaps, evaluating whether or not they may have a point on a few things?
(applause)
 
ANN WRIGHT: For example, one of the earlier things... I mean, if you go through the various tracts that he's given, there are quite a few items that he has a bone to pick with the United States. And quite honestly, I think, having been a diplomat for sixteen years, a lot of people of the world, not just Bin Laden and al Qaeda, have the same bones to pick with America. And a lot of them have to do with leaving, first, U.S. military... on the holy soil of Saudi Arabia -- that was a particular one for them, for al Qaeda and Bin Laden.
 
But the inordinate use of resources by the United States, our total dependency on oil, and our inability to decide that perhaps our lifestyles are a little bit over the top, and that maybe there is a way that we can have a very comfortable life, but not use up 25 percent of the world's resources for four percent of the population.
(applause)

ANN WRIGHT: And there are some things that we as Americans can do, that very quickly will show Bin Laden, al Qaeda, the rest of the world, that we aren't... We really do have to evaluate what we do in the world, and to the rest of the world, we are... we aren't good stewards of the Earth. That we are sucking up stuff. We're contributing inordinately to global warming, which means that many of the island populations of the world will disappear, as well as most of the coasts of the United States.
We have a lot to do. And hopefully, we can get an administration that will force us to do a few of these things, so that to those people who want to take violent actions against us for some of these things, that perhaps they will see, as the rest of the world will see very quickly and appreciate, the fact that we can change our ways. It's not that we're all bad. But, we've got a little bit of changing to do, I think, ourselves.

If you have enjoyed reading these poems and would like to see more of Robert Bové's poetry, click here.

Robert Bové contributes regularly to The Iconoclast, our Community Blog. Click here to see all his contributions, on which comments are welcome.


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