Feature from the Fall issue: John Grey. An American Family Watches the News.

9 Aug

AN AMERICAN FAMILY WATCHES THE NEWS

We sit silently while a neighborhood
is bombed, people flee this way, that way.
What noise could we make anyhow
that could drown out those explosions.
And where would we run to.
This is where we live.

And then our leader’s face appears.
We are making progress, he says.
But what do we know of progress,
we who sit here every night,
watching a news broadcast.

There’s a crowd
and we’re a family.
And it’s war even if our leader says
it’s just a skirmish.
Maybe he’s just like us,
the odd skirmish in the house
from time to time,
but none of it filmed,
none of it
more details at eleven.

Everything’s on fire.
But who’s hot. Not me,
not anyone here.
Here comes a young boy with
one arm missing,
and behind him, an old woman
with her head bandaged
and there’s a toothless man
crawling out from under his collapsed roof
Why bother checking?
We know instinctively we have
our limbs, our teeth, even our heads.
Especially the last,
otherwise how could we watch TV

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