“Air-Raid Kids”

At my desk staring out
of a top floor window,
I watched bombers pimpin’
like Cadillacs on the ave, cruisin’
through a late fall afternoon
between screamin’ fighter jets
spiralin’ angry gang signs in
precision war dances
over a Naval base beyond
trees in the distance.

Behind macho talk,
news of fire & debris clouds,
paramedics & stretchers,
world leaders & armchair generals
never considered childhood
fears about assaults from above
family lost for no reason
or grown-up gibberish
about why the other guys
deserved surprises from the sky;

Later at a park, I watched
kids in swings, somehow
world drama didn’t apply there;
Chatter about God in any name
never spoke to those air-raid kids
in Manhattan, Afghanistan,
or with someone in a jet
gone to fight in distant lands;

Watchin’ them swing closer
& closer to the clouds, I
looked away, thought ’bout
a peace in my youth — now skewed
in young minds today —
& had to wonder
if the spin would ever end
since adults had turned
madness into habit,
& Hate, Patriotism & Fear
into a national pastime.

– Max Nomad

(currently unpublished work from my archives, written a few days after 09/11/01)