Polish Firing Squad

The Lonely Voice woke, bedazzled and sweaty,

From a dream which had turned all his thoughts to confetti.

He’d dreamt of an alien invasion—no hover

Above the White House, but a quiet take-over.


Their plan was so simple and easily done:

At birth, each American was issued a gun

And not like a Glock, or some other trifle,

But what we like best, a new assault rifle.


But that wasn’t all: to finish their mission

To ruin the earth, there was free ammunition

And all to insure that each newly-born waif

Was heavily armed and therefore was safe…


All lower school kids started firing blanks,

While middle school kids were marshalled in ranks

To show off their skills (they did this with ease)

In loosing off rounds from their own rpgs.


The upper school kids, at the sound of a whistle,

Began the launch sequence you use for a missile

And all of the grownups, who knew what was in store,

Made plans to commence the first nuclear war.


“And soon,” said an alien, “there’s no distinction

Who’s friend and who’s foe—there’s just mass extinction.

And we, who have death rays and other such stuff

Only followed your logic—and that was enough.


If you stopped the talk about discrimination—

In your “national no-end-in-sight conversation”—

And made the choice simply to finally disarm,

There’d be no fun doing such maximum harm


To a people at peace—which you never will be—

And we’d work out our plans on some far galaxy.

But now look around—soon, on some thin pretext

The kills will begin—and then you may be next.


As you shoot to your left, and blast to your right.

Our work here is done—enjoy your last night!”

But then Lonely Voice woke, all frazzled and hot,

To listen and wonder: was that the first shot?


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