Groundviews

In Absentia

Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the LTTE separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu...Sri Lankan Tamil civilians arrive to a government-controlled area after fleeing territory controlled by the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) separatist rebels in Puthukkudiyirippu, northeast Sri Lanka, March 26, 2009. Pictures taken March 26, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer (SRI LANKA POLITICS CONFLICT IMAGE OF THE DAY TOP PICTURE)

My blast through screens of Walmart.Com
has left no visible trace, name drained from
the database, the retailer cutting losses,

unwilling to keep stock, especially
in the department of war poetry. about
a distant crime still hard to sell

in the middle of Idaho’s potato fields,
or in the Bayou, or the flatlands, the great
American middle which chews tobacco

and spits, or twirls a baton on
the football field while cable
television runs reports of a war

in the far-away Serendip. Even
India, the government, could shed
only a tear of calculated sympathy

for occupants of the tents blotted
out on the sandy spit, Nandikadal,
the Sri Lankan killing field,

while the rest of the world turned
to Geneva and the people
–of, by and for– who managed

to vote the bums out who committed
the blasted deeds, leaving Ceylon
standing and well, I am told,

except for the usual venal impulses
and continued uncertainty about
when and how the buggers, bums,

pullers of triggers, barkers of orders,
quickly appointed ambassadors,
will be tried for their crimes.

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Image courtesy REUTERS/Stringer via Thuppahi