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    THE SMALL RADIO

 

                                         Written By: R.F. Husnik

 

 

Goodbye Charlie,

many years have passed

since you began to live

off the labors of America’s

taxed working classes

 

You and your friends

sentenced some innocents

to brutal deaths long ago,

but now a much easier form

of departure from Earth’s trials

has found you as well

 

And I’ll never forget

the way a piece of junk

machine informed me of what

you and yours had done

on those two days

 

Yes, I turned that transistorized

piece on every day during

those days; and amidst its

static and crackles I

feared to learn that

perhaps I might soon be

on my way – far away- the

victim of a forced

military induction,

conducted it was said

to help some people far away

fight a meaningless war which

they didn’t really care

whether they won or lost

 

And I’ll always remember

how we were told

we must help those

Southeast Asians. We were

told we must keep them

safe from communistic ways,

but I fear they didn’t care

whether they lived as communists

or capitalists – most of them

probably didn’t even understand

the difference between

the two ways of life

 

And so the military establishment

of those times kept sending

young men where they weren’t

really wanted – and many

of them died there – but

people such as you

and your followers

tried then to pursue

lifestyles in opposition

to that era’s culture of war,

and I won’t criticize you

and your friends for that

 

Yet, there must have come a time

that you and those around you

lost contact with life as it

should be lived by all mortals

despite their gender, race,

political beliefs, or hair style

 

And what I heard on

that radio that day,

instead of the report on

the war, shocked me at

least as much as the latest

Southeast Asian death toll.

I heard what you and

your friends had done!

 

And while, during those times

I prayed daily not to become

a part of Asian bloodshed,

that day I learned that blood

can also be shed

viciously and senselessly

here in the states of America

 

And I was very afraid

as I turned off that

small radio that day.

And that day, beside

my daily prayer for deliverance

from the violence of warfare,

I also prayed to be delivered

from the hatred and/or

insanity of people such as you

 

And I’ve never forgotten

that brief interlude which

featured that small radio

informing me of your foul

deeds on the west coast.

 

And I’ve never forgotten

the day I learned 

how close to us

evil can lurk, and also

how far away from us

it can thrive

 

 

 

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