"The New Commuter Wars"

The snow flies up here! she says. White
moths sputtering up, and black crows
storming down past the porch windows.
We’re not up so high, enough to see over
the twilit valley, how the night lights blink
like computer red LEDS so visitors say Oh!
now they see that Syracuse really is a city.
How high up do you have to be to see
what’s happening? The eye is not enough.
Media moguls hand us plastic 3-D glasses
and move the earth wars to another planet,
turn the people blue, and burn beauty in,
the mesmerizing ashes drift, delicate moths
onto our hands as we sit in the front row,
perhaps next to a soldier living secret
in this city, mornings he commutes to war
to fly the unmanned death-reaper drone,
and the U.S. Army says just doing his job.
That’s a lie, he’s making nothing people use,
his techno game hands jerking the joystick,
his well-fledged eyes darting to kill a target
on the screen between him and the mountain
valley where later ashes fall like snow
on a shattered house, a dozen people dead,
on the blood and guts of the ugly truth.

U.S. war on Afghanistan now means “drone” planes being flown 7500 miles away by remote control, out of the airport of the town where I live, by National Guard soldiers who stay in their hometown and commute to war. The Army is aggressively recruiting a younger generation who don’t need to have experience as real-time pilots because they have grown up playing video games on screen with a “joystick,” the same used to operate “The Reaper.”For more info:


Minnie Bruce Pratt

Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivs
Creative Commons 2010

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