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Life Arts

In the Blood

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by Edward Curtin

School desks and nuclear bombs
School desks and nuclear bombs
(Image by gregstevens.com)
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Born in a normal time,
The periodic slaughter of millions
By the civilized nations of the earth
I grew to adulthood half-crazed
With fear and numbed wonder.
I always wished to believe otherwise,
That people were good at heart,
Wanted to live in mutual peace
And tend the green earth as if
It were a garden
As if pity vivified all living things.
Somehow the blood that was in me
Said otherwise,
Spoke truth to the power
Of my wish,
While everywhere around me lay the lie.
But my blood, this blood that became me
While millions were being butchered
And Bing Crosby crooned I'm dreaming
Of a white Christmas,
This red blood said otherwise.
Do not accept the way they say
"Good Morning"
And the way they nod as they pass,
As though they didn't want to kill
Each other.
Do not believe their eyes
And the way they pray to the skies
To save them.
Do not believe their beliefs,
All lies woven to deceive.
For at heart they truly hate
The green earth.
Do not believe the way they say
"Good Evening"
For they wish the darkest night
To descend upon us,
The nothingness of their knowledge
To swallow all.
That is what will release them,
That is all.

Thus my blood spoke to me,
A child of a sanguine century,
Born in a normal time,
The periodic slaughter of millions
By the civilized nations of the earth.

And despite all appearances,
I have never believed them.
Never. Not at all.

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Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/


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