One met former cabinet ministers,
University professors, defrocked priests and officers,
Feeding pigeons from a park bench,
Squinting into foreign newspapers
And telling anyone who asked
Not to bother their heads about the truth.

On the use of murder to improve the world,
They had many bitter memories
As they huddled in their dim kitchens,
Clipping supermarket coupons,
Shifting the loose dentures in their mouths
While waiting for the tea kettle to boil.

They ate in restaurants with waiters older than themselves,
Musicians whose hands trembled
As they picked their instruments
Making some giddy widow burst into sobs
On hearing the song her husband loved,
The man who sent thousands to their deaths.

This Issue

May 15, 2008