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

Be enough?

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?


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