Sunday, August 20, 2006

Smart Bombs - a short story.

As he got on to the tube train, rubbing shoulders with the men and women, almost tripping over the push chair, his mind was filled with those other men and women; people stranded without food in the rubble of their homes, bearing bloodstained makeshift bandages, searching without hope for loved ones among the slain.

These people did not know what that was like. They were going to find out.

The train pulled out of the station. It was crowded, he had to stand. One or two people eyed his rucksack and then looked away. If they only knew.

Today his family were going back. They had no comfortable lives, no smart suits and mobile phones and ipods. They didn’t have to “imagine no possessions.” They had the clothes they stood up in and those needed a good wash. Their home might be there. Mr Blair and Mr Bush might have sent over one of their smart bombs to destroy it. How smart is that?

If it was gone they would camp near the rubble of their house and try to rebuild their lives, just like before…and the time before that. The smug faces around him hid minds which did not know what that was like.

This was a war of the rich against the poor. The rich have always been at war with the poor. And they conscript the poor to fight their battles.

And suddenly he realised there were men in flak jackets on either side of him. A gun to his head and the carriage was being evacuated. They pushed him to the ground and held him down. Then they were kicking him and shouting questions at him. The contents of his rucksack were strewn all over the carriage.

And then the policemen were laughing and they stood on the sheets of paper. “What the fuck is this? Bloody poetry? Do you think you can win a war with ideas?”

He didn’t say anything but inside his head he whispered, “yes.”



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