Wicked: A Poem on the Demonization of Others

Wicked is from an unpublished collection entitled “Nursery Rhymes for the New World”

What a lot of wicked people
Dreaming wicked, wicked dreams
Pitch a missile in their midst
Hear their wicked, wicked screams

There see the wicked widow keening
For the fragments of her wicked man
And a wicked son, a wicked daughter
In silence holding wicked hands

Nearby a wicked baby howling
A wicked town in flickering ruin
And the wicked all in mourning marching
With palls to wicked tombs

And the wicked will sometimes cry in snow
With wicked grasping outstretched hands
The wicked cannot cease from asking
In flood or sun-drenched burning sands

Until at last in some dark street
A wicked man will stab a good
With a pen or with a fork
Grasping for a voice or food

These wicked, wicked people
Through long years dispossessed
Persist in causing trouble for
The differently blessed

For all the messages we send
On beams of light, or guiding wires
Goodness they do not acquire
And so we bomb them once again…

An attribute of wickedness
Is to persist in it
And of the good to never cease
In waging war in quest of peace.

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