But I haven’t been able to focus.
They said the President was going to speak
To the Nation at ten-thirty. By eleven,
The story had escaped. Within the hour
A crowd had gathered to cheer and chant
U.S.A over and over in front of the White
House and the President still hadn’t stepped
Through the doorway and cut sharply toward
The podium, feet steady as he approached us
With the news. He kept it simple, his
Speech, and did not gloat.
The images of 9-11 returned
Unbidden. Would the killing of this
Man in his hideaway mansion ease
The trauma we’ve been living
With ever since?
I wanted to address this all week, but
Found no easy answer. Would the world
Be better without Osama Bin Laden?
Yes, without a doubt. Would cheering his
Death, or any death, bring solace?
And if not solace, then at least some
Satisfaction or a sense of justice? Would
This mark the moment in which we
Retrieved our soldiers from their dusty,
Endless mission? Or, to the contrary,
Would this draw us deeper? Would it
Matter to the tens thousands of dead
On both sides of the world? Our soldiers
And their soldiers. Our innocent and
Their innocent? Would the rich,
Mostly white, millionaires that run the
Country finally stop acting like first
Graders fighting over who controlled
The jungle gym?
Or would this secretive operation, much
Like 9-11,bring us together for a brief
Moment only to return too quickly to our
Daily lives of distraction? Would we—I—
Use the emotional pull of this sick and
Sickly man’s death as a force to remind us
Of our fragile station as mortal animals?
Would we feel released from those fears
He symbolized? Or would the symbol
Simply migrate to another boogeyman,
Another face long and dour beneath
A turban, another face to hate? And
Who would we have to kill to release us
From our national fear and hate? And
Even if we killed everyone, would that
All week I wanted to address these
Questions in writing. I only know where
I’m going if I write my way there. But
What I’m left with tonight, are the same
Questions I couldn’t answer before. Still
No answers. We cheered, or wept,
Or continued grieving, or relived some grief
Packed away, but is anything
Different today? Will it be?