Sunday, July 22, 2007

The difficulty in turning around

At some point,
they had to realize
they had a problem in Woburn.
The mounting birth defects
the weird illnesses
the cancers and leukemia.
But school teachers teach
and realtors sell houses
and merchants sell goods
and mayors eat chicken dinners
and tell everyone everything is okay.
There is no mechanism in our society
to say stop
not enough union members
to call a general strike
no mothers of the disappeared
who can afford to bang on pots
all day in the streets.
And so the chemicals seep into the ground
and into the water
and into our blood streams
and into our babies.
And all of our same hopes and
dreams and striving are still there.
But it doesn't work anymore,
because the chemicals have done their damage
and there was no mechanism
by which
everyone could say stop, what's
going on here?
it ain't right and
I don't know what is
but we aren't going on
until we figure it out.

Sometime a couple years ago,
it became apparent
that Iraq wasn't going well.
It had become a horror movie
house of sadism into which
we send our healthy young men
and women
in one door
and they come out the other
maimed and terrorized
and not alive anymore.
And yet, recruiters recruit
and soldiers fight wars, and
contractors build things
for a price.
And so people continue
to slowly walk
into the meat grinder
long after it was obvious
that someone
should throw the switch
to stop the assembly line.

But there is no switch.
There is no pause.
People just do what they do
even when all of the inputs
and the variables
and the outcomes
and the early scenarios
have changed.

No comments: