A Response by Geoffrey B. Elliott

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It is hard to blame them for their
They are of the generation they are,
Credulous of broadcast media, despite its lies,
Because the lies are familiar and comforting in that familiarity,
Even as they portend doom that comes from
Other sources than those that offer it.
They are the children of duck-and-cover,
The daily looked-for end of the world,
Habituated from an early age to the twin demands of
Readiness from attack, and
Acceptance and rehearsal of jingoism.
Repeating its mantras until known by heart and
Thinking it had always been that way when
Their parents–
To whom they tell us we ought to lookup–
Remembered a time when it was not so
And the nation they claim is the greatest,
Most powerful,
Actually won the wars in which it fought,
While those who followed them,
With their piety, performed where the god they claim to praise would reject it
Are still enmeshed in their own fights
Decades and lifetimes not cut short later.
Is the air of their youth and
When matters conspire against breathing,
It is only sensible that they would want to smell the old familiar smell again.

Geoffrey B. Elliott is an academic expatriate currently working in substance abuse treatment in the Texas Hill Country. Like most folks, he’s trying to get by; like too few, he’s trying to help others along as he does it.


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