It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it."
-unnamed US major as quoted
by Peter Arnett, Feb 7, 1968
America as the Village of Ben Tre
First came carpet bomb wire-taps to soften us up
before Napalm, today's water-boarding
(a Khmer Rouge torture loved by Pol Pot),
which led to CIA spooks in libraries,
a Secretary of State defending Gulags,
attack dogs on detainees (a Birmingham tool,
loved by Bull Connor) - all ruining her name,
and then "free speech zones", it's just so insane.
But even J. Edgar Hoover in his best
red satin dress could never have foreseen
the 800 year compact at Runnymede ruined,
our thatched-roof Constitution in flames,
Zippo lighters put to Habeas Corpus.
A lone baby howls. Two dogs wander past.
Editor's Note: We are pleased to publish this provocative poem by Rupert Fike. He has had poems and short fiction appear in Rosebud (Pushcart nominee), The Georgetown Review, Snake Nation Review (winner 2006 single poem contest), The Cumberland Poetry Review, Natural Bridge, Poetry Motel, Borderlands, storySouth, The Backwards City Review and others. He had one poem inscribed in a downtown Atlanta plaza, and has had several one-act plays produced by Theatre Emory. His non-fiction assemblage of first-person accounts of life in a large spiritual community in the 1970's, Voices From The Farm, is now available in paperback. - LMB