How Does One Tell Them?
How does one talk to them?
Laying there, so proud, with horrendous wounds
And talking the same language as their forebears:
"I did it so my children won't have to"
How does one argue with this?
How does one say,
"But our children will have to"
"They always have"?
How do we tell them the other history?
That America was built on the myth of freedom
And, in order to grow, it took freedom away
From Africans, Indians, and the working poor from around the world?
How does one tell the parents of the dead
That their son or daughter died for the free enterprise of some
Not for the free expression
Of life's longing for happiness by the many?
How does one tell them that the threat from the outside
Is matched by the threat from within?
That our own leaders are willing to use the people's honor and treasure
To serve their own selfish ends?
How does one tell them that it is our own corruptibility
That enables men of hubris and ill will
To dazzle and pacify us with 'bread and circuses'
And false hope for a better life that will never be?
How does one tell them in a way that does not anger?
In a way that they will listen
In a way that they will see
That being an American means more than buying and selling?
How does one tell them
That the enemy are not really the Saddams, Osamas, Castros, or Kims
But our greed and their need?
That's what makes them hate us so
How does one tell them that America's success and survival
Depends not on the power of Rome or the legacy of Greece
But the understanding and compassion
Of a Chief Seattle, Reverend King, or Woody Guthrie?
How does one tell them that Jesus
Did not come to save us from the death of the body
But from the death of the soul
In a world that is in danger of forgetting how to love?
How does one tell them?