Andrew Polk

From a Distance

From a distance,
From way far away
things are less personal.
One can look the other way.

It was at just this moment, I heard on CNN
Yet another story about two brave men.
Soldiers on duty, bringing freedom to Iraq.
Their deaths, an explosion, and then the aftershock.

She was someone’s grandmother, alone and confused,
Tired and neglected, like the road that she cruised,
She walked in their direction, our tragic heroes,
Like a martyr to be, approaching her foes.

Now I’m with my TV and I’m eating my dinner,
American Idol comes later, and I’ll soon learn the winner.
The war and its casualties are real entertaining,
But a switch of reality shows would also be sustaining.

Their eyes met breifly, before the explosion
One eternal instant, and their lives were undone.
Others died also, but as to the latter,
Only numbers are cited - the details don’t matter.

I lifted the remote so I might change the station,
To avoid the commercial and its implicit temptation:
Ford Motors, Viagra, clean coal, and more credit,
Making life better, though we can’t afford it.

The old woman had been recruited, the sources said,
Her family was air bombed and now were all dead.
She would be a martyr and join her loved ones,
She would save her country and other womens’ sons.

The soldiers were still kids and from bad situations,
Service was an escape means, and with nice compensations.
One had a wife, and a son and a daughter,
The other wanted respect, come hell or high water.

Their names were announced , but I would soon forget them.
Tomorrow’s new topic will be the next gem.
Someone somewhere is undougbtedly greiving,
But why think about that with the new scoops we’re receiving?

2008 (lyrics to the song)