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Page 26
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<< 25. 5 Dead in Ol' Maryland (poem)27. Reconciliation >>

A World Leader's Demise (poem)

By Gregory Ross

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Bolting upright, sweat pours down his brow as the nightmare, held captive by his unconscious, escapes into the night. The afterimage, still vivid behind his eyes, stalks his camouflaged conscience. Strangling back a cry, he tries to evade the figure whose words sear his psyche, "Your soldiers are on strike. No longer will they kill for your greed and pride. They are in the world building hospitals and schools. Your ships carry food to the poor, your planes medicine to the sick. Weapons have been dismantled. The world has chosen peace. We wish to forgive you, that you may join us."

He got up to turn on the light, to remove the night. In that instant, brightness engulfing the room, his heart stopped to see the figure: a woman, perhaps Viet Namese or Latina; maybe Native American or African. She smiled and in that moment he died of fear.

He was buried, the only peace his troubled soul could accept.

—Gregory Ross

<< 25. 5 Dead in Ol' Maryland (poem)27. Reconciliation >>