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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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From the Globe and Mail's poet in residence

The Red, White and Blues

Imagine sitting in Baghdad,
And waiting for the end to come.
The bombs rest on their launching pad,
All primed to play war's zero-sum.
The troops are massing by the day.
The missiles have their targets locked.
There's nothing left to do but pray.
All roads to peace, it seems, are blocked.
But then you turn on CNN,
And hope is granted one last chance --
Forgetting terror, Bush's men
Would rather take cheap shots at France.

These frat boys lack fraternité --
Their all for one's not one for all.
No question of égalité:
The game's played with their bat and ball.
This President in cowboy duds
Can't stand Chirac and his sharp threads.
It's like a guy who chugs cold Buds
Being asked to sniff rare Bordeaux reds.
"Who needs you French? You'll only run."
"We crave our peace along the Rhine."
"Who saved your butts in '41?"
"But where were you in '39?"

French fear's a shtick, like Homer's D'ohs,
A laugh track for the march to war.
Compared with jokes on late-night shows,
UN debates are such a bore.
Free speech is wasted on the free --
They don't know how to use its gift.
What once struck fear in tyranny
Gives Letterman a ratings lift.
Iraqi viewers know full well,
When George Bush speaks, all will obey.
Baghdad must have its time in hell,
But after? Vive la liberté!

--From the weekly feature in Canada's The Globe and Mail, Poetic Justice, by John Allemang