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Poem: Heck of a Job

Iraq’s guts are still steaming/in the dry, hot air of a nation whose reconstituted army/ tends to run for its life when it faces an enemy,/ even though trained at great expense by the U.S. Army.

 

 

Heck of a Job

 

“Heck of a job, Brownie!” George Bush said

to Michael Brown, who had famously botched

the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina,

in the inglorious summer of 2004.

 

And George said the same, in effect, later that year,

when he conferred on Paul Bremer III (who had

served for thirteen months as head of state of Iraq)

the coveted Presidential Medal of Freedom,

 

awarded – mind you – to citizens for “especially

meritorious contributions to the security or

national interests of the United States, to world peace,”

or to cultural or other significant…” And so on.

 

Thousands had died or were terribly maimed,

and billions had gone missing during Paul’s tenure.

And then, with one executive order, suave Paul,

wearing white shirt, no jacket, and a dark tie,

 

signed a document that, over night, dismissed

the Iraqi army, leaving thousands of officers and

men jobless, pissed, and restless – had, in effect,

gutted the nation, as if compelling the country

 

to commit hara kiri. Iraq’s guts are still steaming

in the dry, hot air of a nation whose reconstituted army

tends to run for its life when it faces an enemy,

even though trained at great expense by the U.S. Army.

 

And George has taken up painting in Texas and holds

exhibitions of his work, and Paul has taken up painting

in Vermont and holds exhibitions of his work, and didn’t

Shakespeare say “All’s well that ends well”? He did.

 

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