American Questions

(adapted from Waiting For A Number by Peter Balakian)

A young boy strolls the sidewalk.
Location: Unknown. President: Nixon.
The Doors are blasted from the local station.

When the boy reaches the football field –
boots scrubbed, helmet strapped on –
his thoughts travel to Saigon.
Running at full pelt, like
Forrest Gump in his prime,
he catches the white in his hunters’ eyes.
A gun spins on the table –
dodging, feinting, jiving, diving –
mau! The next move could be his last.
He crosses the line and Hendrix
riffs begin to scream, while
his bomber jacket gleams.

Cassius Clay won the lottery that day.
How many more numbers will come up
before America learns the price its paid?

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