The Rage of George
Rattling of Sabres
The Gods of War
In the Clouds
The Tyrant Flees
Out of Order
Doing the Patriot Act
The Little Prince
Ichor of the Gods
The Price of Peace
Dead or Alive
Across the Border
Summer in the City
Wolf and Jackal
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and The Idyossey?
Twenty-five million dollars for Saddam
Dead or alive, Prince George declares on the Fourth of July.
The Breaker of Men haunts the White House, his
Silent presence makes mockery of America and Bush,
Americans soldiers killed and wounded day by day
Despite the end of war announced by George in May.
Between Hussein and bin Laden
The rewards add up to 50 million dollars, plus
Another 15 million each tossed in for Saddam’s sons.
The Hussein trio is floridly described
By Bush’s team, who claim they are
Among the most evil men in history.
In Hell, Hitler, Stalin, Attila, and Jeff Dahmer,
Now find themselves moved up or down a notch
Due to Saddam’s recent reclassification.
When it comes to hierarchy of evildoers,
A place at or near the top is all they have,
They eye each other, jealously suspicious.
Among the living, such rewards
Are like the lottery: Amounts of money
So gigantic and so grand they make
Fine fuel for fantasy, but not much more.
The odds of winning are too high,
Most everyone ends up a loser.
For a small group of Iraqis more’s at stake,
Their lives are on the line. While Saddam
Controlled Baghdad, the lives of these men
Were fairly safe; but with huge money on the line
That’s changed. For the corps of Body Doubles,
Trouble lurks ahead.
More than twenty-five look just like Saddam,
Almost identical, near clones of the ex-ruler,
Surgically altered down to the cleft chin,
Facial warts, precisely aligned teeth,
Receding hairline, they’ve scattered
Among the population.
What used to be a cushy job
Is now a liability; they’re hunted. Americans
Search everywhere, publicize the huge reward.
The Saddams shave their upper lips,
Cut off their hair, lose weight. Some
Limp or dress in rags.
Rumored sightings of Saddam begin,
People see him late at night, some swear
They’ve seen him during day. Physics wrong,
Saddam appears several places at one time.
Americans can’t keep up as Hussein
Dopplegangers roam Iraq.
Udai and Qusai, the Hussein sons
Have fewer doubles than Saddam, fewer
Than one dozen each, nor as perfect.
Saddam insisted that some defects still remain,
Imperfections, so that he can recognize
His real sons at all times.
Udai, who had had accidents, avoided assassination,
Made life inconvenient for his doubles.
When shot, disabled, both legs broken,
He orders the same for his look-alikes.
They have his good looks but not
His dogged determination; many die.
In North Korea, Saddam sits safely;
He and his sons note the rewards and laugh.
“I’d think I was worth more than millions,”
Saddam sits by a heated pool amid
a faux-desert landscape. “Though the amount
For you two seems excessive,” he grins.
Udai and Qusai, recline on their
Chaise-lounge chairs, sipping tea.
“Yes father,” they intone in unison. Now united,
Happy family once again, Saddam in charge
The sons have lost their freedom. “I have
A good idea,” Saddam sits up. “Listen to this!”
Saddam, with billions to command
Comes up with new ideas for practical jokes.
He likes to torment America, releases
Audio tapes. “We brought three
Of my doubles with us, did we not?”
His face displays a look of mischief.
“Let’s draw straws and pick one out.”
Cruel as their father but less creative
The two boys sit up, turn to Saddam, expectation
On their faces. “We’ll use him to taunt Bush,
Engineer his capture, grab big headlines, then
Reveal his true identity and embarrass the U.S.”
The Breaker of Men grins at the thought,
Removes his pork-pie hat, wipes his brow.
“Hey Kim,” he shouts to the attendant,
“Turn down the heat and up the breeze a bit!”
“It’s a good joke,” Odai nods with vigor.
“Grand idea, father,” Qusai adds.
The final plan departs from the original
They all agree the first plan’s too complex.
Iraq’s too far away, too hard to manage, and
Life in North Korea’s pretty sweet. In the end
The plan’s made elegant and simple: A box
Sent to the White House holding “Saddam’s” head.
The three lean back again, talk softly.
The plan’s reviewed from all directions.
They draw straws, the double named Ali is chosen,
A pleasant fellow, dead-on in appearance.
“Now, for the timing, any ideas?” Saddam waits.
Udai and Qusai laugh, “September 11th!