POETRY: December 14, 2012

Nancy Hoch Dec 17, 2013

That morning

in Brooklyn

I heard

not on every station

just on one radio program

just in the middle

of one segment

sometime around 8:40

that a group of young people

had been blown up by a missile

fired from a U.S. drone.


How awful

I thought

to be just sitting

with your friends

in a park

on a summer’s evening.


They are all dead.


That’s all I know

so don’t ask me

how many

their names or ages

what the first responders did or thought

where or when or who

or what the town went through.


The Catholic priest

speaking on the radio

had just returned

not from the town

where it happened

(how many months ago?)

but from the city of Kabul

where twenty-five young people

have dedicated themselves

to ending the killing.  


They tell him

                                    the drones

                                    hover every other night

                                    over the villages,


                                    they sound

                                    low, buzzing.




By noon that is what everyone in America wants to know.


In Connecticut,

State Trooper Vance says

the weapons

are being traced

                                    back to the workbench

                                    where they were being assembled,



                                    we will put

                                    every single resource

                                    into this investigation.



But in Afghanistan,

everyone knows,

the drone will not be traced back

to the workbench where it was assembled,


to the National Guardsman or woman

inside a windowless room in Syracuse,  

only 259 driving miles from Newtown,

less as the crow flies,


to the president,

who, by mid-afternoon,

has called a press conference

to say

                                    they had their entire lives

                                    ahead of them.


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