Wednesday, July 26, 2017

a small disagreement, intractable choices

It began over tea
2 important people discussing trade
And the interpretations of a piece of paper
Both men had recently signed
No one could have believed
The world would be destroyed
Over two small voices disagreeing
With pristine smiles and protocol
Social etiquette spoken perfectly
Over the rights to remove ore
Or fuel or crops or cheap labor
Who had the right
No one
Who should have gained?

We watched in horror 
When our reasonable leaders
Found themselves unable to discern
A mutual path
And with that
The two reasonable people retreated
Back to their polite words
With intentions to take
What they could have shared
Choosing water over wine
Choosing fear over generosity

An aircraft flew too close to a shoreline
Too close for comfort, inviting wrath
The approaching craft had ignored warnings
Or was the jet's communications flawed
It flew over the land controlled
By the others and had ignored challenges
Obviously meant to provoke
Saw the one side
Ordering their jets skyward
Reaching the atmosphere
Challenging the other
Silenced to be answered
By rockets and missiles

Deftly avoiding the enemy fire
The pilot shouts into his flawed microphone
Realizing he is flying over dangerous territory
He turns his jet around but the missiles strike
And he is destroyed
When his cockpit recordings are played
The country he was from hears only
My God, what happened?
His attackers hears only
Intruder: turn now or be shot down
No response after numerous warnings
This has to be treated as a direct attack
The drama could have been snuffed out
With words that weren't polite
Accidents happen
But that would require
Calm heads
And instead
Missiles launch
From silos
And space
Answering the intrusion
As they perceived the threat