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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Wolfowitz sets aside Thursday afternoon,
An informal gathering to discuss a looming problem.
Wolfowitz is convinced the U.S. is in danger,
That other countries with evil intentions
Will soon facilitate a nuclear attack on U.S. soil.
He invites Cheney and Foul Rumsfeld to his office.
At 2 p.m. May 29th, the meeting begins.
No one else is present, recorders turned off.
The topic highly sensitive, easily misunderstood,
Best there’s no record kept, no notes taken.
Like the Nazi Wannsee conference, it’s about
A final solution, in this case nuclear.
“Dick, Don…thanks for coming,” Wolfowitz smiles.
“I ordered up some snacks, want a drink?”
“Sure,” Foul Rumsfeld answers, “Diet Dr. Pepper.”
“Herbal iced tea,” adds Cheney, “With lemon.”
“No problem,” Wolfie replies, and on the intercom
Requests drinks to be brought in.
After all have settled in, pleasantries exchanged,
Wolfowitz introduces the topic: Countering
The threat posed by rogue nations
Engaged in developing nuclear weapons.
“The news about Iran, you know about it, right?”
Dick and Don both nod. Wolfie continues.
“They’ve made some real advances,
In two years could have the bomb.
The question now is what to do, engage
In media bluster, diplomatic dances,
Or take grander action to resolve the issue:
A pre-emptive strike, facilities destroyed.”
“Destruction is ruled out,” Foul Rumsfeld
Gruffly responds, “too much fallout.
We can’t predict the effect of an attack.
The explosive force will spread radiation,
Make a large area of Iran uninhabitable,
Including, God forbid, oil fields.”
He sips his Dr. Pepper right from the can.
It drips on his tie, where it soaks in.
Cheney notices and reaches out to wipe it,
But Rummy moves back out of reach,
“Take it easy Don,” says Dick, “I’m trying to help.”
“Jesus Dick, you’re getting to be a real pain in the ass!”
“I hate to see a nice tie ruined,” Dick
“Here, take this napkin and do it yourself.”
Don looks down and sees the spreading dark spot.
“Shit, God-damn it!” he exclaims, now wiping.
Wolfowitz sits patiently, watching them
Bicker like an old married couple.
“Hey, guys,” he interjects, “Can we get back on topic?”
“Okay,” they say in unison, but Rummy continues to wipe,
While Cheney looks at Don's tie, distracted.
“Please,” Wolfie’s voice goes up a bit, insistent,
“We don’t have a lot of time…please?”
Dick and Don turn their attention to Paul.
“All right,” Wolfowitz goes on, “Destruction’s out.
What about regime change?” Both other men perk up.
They love regime change best of all! “And how
Do you propose that happen?” Cheney inquires.
Picking up a baby carrot, he pops it in his mouth,
Chews, then chokes and coughs.
A carrot chunk flies from his mouth to Wolfie’s shoe.
Don notices, looks at Dick, and subtly points,
While Dick, done coughing, looks down and sees it.
Wolfie has not noticed, keeps right on talking.
The chunk is well-stuck, wet with saliva,
And Dick and Don begin to chortle.
“OK, where was I?” says Wolfie, getting testy.
Don and Dick are silent for a moment,
And then they both crack up laughing.
“No, go on, please,” says Dick, gasping.
They look down at the shoe and laugh louder,
Finally they are both red-faced hysterical.
“You guys are children!” Wolfie removes his jacket.
“What is so fucking funny about nuclear war?”
Don and Dick point at his shoe. Wolfie
Looks down to the orange chunk, then sighs
Grabs a napkin and wipes it off, disgusted less
By the slimy chunk than such adolescent behavior.
“Look, this is serious, you guys need to pay attention,”
He whines, insistent, desperate. Dick and Don
Both well his senior, wink at one another.
“O.K. Paul, relax. We’re sorry, please go on.”
Don furrows his brow, looks serious. Dick
Goes for another carrot, but stops himself midway.
Wolfie continues, “Regime change is an option,
Especially with 200,000 troops at hand.
Let’s learn a lesson from MacArthur,
We’re on a roll, let’s keep rolling north.
Why wait to invade later when
We can do it now for less?”
Dick gulps his iced tea, smacks his lips,
Don grimaces, “Why must you make that noise?”
Dick, half-smile on his face, answers curtly,
“Because it tastes good, that’s why.”
“I think it’s impolite,” says Don, “Don’t do it!”
“Who made you boss?” says Dick gulping, “Ahhhhhhhhh.”
“You two make me nuts!” yells Paul.
“Please shut up and pay attention!”
The other two look up at Paul, then at their laps.
Foul Rumsfeld sticks out his lower lip, childlike,
Cheney sits quietly, and then looks up again,
“May I have another carrot?”
The two old men explode,
Drink sprays across the coffee table,
Cheney’s feet come off the floor,
His shoe hits the snack plate; carrots roll
Like logs dumped from a train car, in orderly fashion
They go over the edge one after another.
Wolfowitz watches in disbelief,
The other two have lost it completely.
They pound the cushions and gasp for breath,
Cheney looks as if he’s having a heart attack,
Rummy wipes his teary red eyes.
Paul sits and waits for order to return.
“Perhaps we should meet another time,” he says softly.
He’s depressed, confused and hurt.
“Perhaps that would be best, Paul,” says Rummy,
He walks to the door, “Coming Dick?”
Cheney grabs the lone remaining carrot on the plate.
“Right behind you Don. Good meeting, Paul!”