Monday, September 14, 2009

Big Ask

Adrian Mitchell

Big Ask

by Carol Ann Duffy

(In memory of Adrian Mitchell)

What was it Sisyphus pushed up the hill?
I wouldn't call it a rock.
Will you solemnly swear on the Bible?
I couldn't swear on a book.
With which piece did you capture
the castle?
I shouldn't hazard a rook.

When did the President give you
the date?
Nothing to do with Barack!
Were 1200 targets marked on a chart?
Nothing was circled in black.
On what was the prisoner stripped
and stretched?
Nothing resembling a rack.

Guantanamo Bay - how many detained?
How many grains in a sack?
Extraordinary Rendition -
give me some names.
How many cards in a pack?
Sexing the Dossier - name of the game?
Poker. Gin Rummy. Blackjack.

What's your understanding of 'shock'
and 'awe'?
I didn't plan the attack.
Once inside the Mosque,
describe what you saw.
I couldn't see through the smoke.
Your estimate of the cost of the War?
I had no brief to keep track.

Where was Saddam when they found him
at last?
Maybe holed under a shack.
What happened to him once
they'd kicked his ass?
Maybe he swung from the neck.
The WMD ... you found the stash?
Well, maybe not in Iraq.

Posted over on Guardian, UK

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