The Treachery of Language

In Israel they call housing
developments built on stolen
Palestinian lands “Settlements”.
In America way back when,

the first killers to burn
and murder the natives were
courageous “Settlers”. Funny
how the brutality of invaders

gets translated into a glowing
narrative of self-sacrifice
and purity of intent that
buries criminality in homespun

folklore and legendary
mythology. Thieves and
assassins become “Pioneers”,
brave and fearless explorers

sent by the One True God
to tame and reclaim the wilds
He created specifically for us,
and by any means necessary;

thus the righteous slaughters
and guilt-free butchery still
celebrated and cherished
in America and now

emulated in Israel with iron
fists and dead hearts. Destruction
of whole peoples becomes
the glory of history, blessed

fables told in hushed tones
to children around crackling
campfires, the treachery
of language, then, hard at work.

Paul Lojeski's poetry has appeared in journals and online. He’s also the author of the satiric novel, The Reverend Jimmy Pup. He lives with his wife and daughter in Port Jefferson, NY. Read other articles by Paul.