I have not written a poem in some time. I have not been inspired – and I cannot tell you why. Perhaps with age comes an inability to multitask. Perhaps I have been gathering inspiration and now it is time to write a bit.
The New York Times is my computers Home Page. Some of you know that war has long given me inspiration. Today one of the headlines is: “34,000 U.S. Troops to Exit Afghanistan Within a Year.” This headline has five photos next to it, yet they are a part of another article titled: “New Afghan Middle Class Fears for the Future.” Each photo is current. I find the first photo riveting. It is modern but looks like a painting done in the fashion of realism, but set in the latter 19th century. Poem linked to dVerse Poets Pub OpenLinkNight Week 83.
The Afghan Middle-Class
Your country in ruins, toppled, rubble all around you.
Yet oblivious you stand at the bar ready to drink the blood of your brothers.
Yes, you are the middle class, the class that capitalism and war have built.
In your dark Brooks Brothers suit you stand at the bar Martini in hand.
Confidence gives you a slight aura of a halo. But it is the wrong color betraying your motives.
You don’t see those behind, pressing about you, men and women in tribal dress.
For you it is about the money, the power.
For them it is about little pieces of freedom.
How long will her face be uncovered, her dark glasses go un-cracked?
What peace has come to them through ten years of war?
War torn, this a country of fragmented pieces without peace yearns
To be put together and made whole. Will you rebuild with these shards, this detritus of war?
Or will the broken buildings simply become bunkers for the next battle?
As I look beyond the holes in the earth, the dusty playground, I see new tombs of the rich, ugly monolithic apartments built with acts of corruption.
They create a backdrop for war-youth playing kickball in the dust.
Afghanistan has a new and fragile middle class.
A middleclass made all the more fragile by a thin partition,
the wall pushing back against poverty, ever present.
The headline reads: “Fears of the Future Haunt a Budding Generation of Afghan Strivers.”
The strivers are in their tall semi-safely constructed compound.
They are separated from the youth playing in the dust of the street.
The strivers are mere feet from poverty. How long before they fall to the next war predator?
Always the illusion of safety, created by the money of corruption separates one from poverty, until poverty comes knocking on your door again.
Better, so much better to dismantle the wall yourself and meld with a piece of that poverty, lifting up rather than separating.
Yes, what will become of the middle-class?
The middle-class is in their wasteland.