The force that placed us here cannot be trusted

–with lines from Walt Whitman, Tristan Corbiere, Sterling Brown, Ernesto Cardenal, Kevin Bowen,
Czeslaw Milosz and Ray A.Young Bear

At dinner, Zach asks
about our nation's history, wars.
I say We're taking on everyone, one at a time.

First Britain, then Britain again: "He was the surly English pluck, and there is no tougher
      or truer, and never was, and never will be."
Next Mexico: "Death is indifferent to what hide he tans; life crushes men like flies."
The War Between the States: "Well done, Mr. Cromartie. Time now for rest."

Most of Latin America: "Not only humans longed for liberation. All ecology groaned for it
      too. The revolution is also one of lakes, rivers, trees, animals."
Then Southeast Asia: "The slight bump the mortars make as they kiss the tube goodbye.
      Then the furious rain, a fist driving home the message: Boy, you don't belong here."
Now the Middle East: "A land to be admired like all lands. Harsh mountains and deserts,
      indigenous plants and people, adapted ungulates, carnivorous mammals."

Can't forget the Krauts & Nips: "Then I heard the bomber call me in: Little Friend, Little
      Friend, I got two engines on fire. Can you see me, Little Friend?"
Nor the Commies: "You mixed up farewell to an epoch with the beginning of a new one. I
      put this book here for you, who once lived, so that you should visit us no more."
The original indigenous people say: "In time we'll become prosperous, or else we'll
      become martyrs. The force that placed us here cannot be trusted."

Copyright 2013 by Robert Ronnow. Acknowledgements.