Let us now consider

Let us now consider
The murder of children
By the Holy American Empire

Let us now consider
The smashed skulls
The bullet-riddled torsos
The obliterated faces
The severed limbs
The charred bodies
Of the children murdered
By the Holy American Empire

Let us now consider
The murder of indigenous children
In our genocidal war
To claim and possess
All of Turtle Island
Bayonetting pregnant women
Carving fetuses
Out of their mother’s wombs
Hacking to pieces
Toddlers running from our horses
Toward their parents
Dying in the dust

Let us now consider
The murder of children
Brought as slaves
To this land of freedom and opportunity
To make America great
With their bodies
Their blood
Their souls
Whipped and branded
And driven mercilessly
Sold away from their families
Succumbing to disease
To unmineable brutality
And at last to mangled and broken hearts

Let us now consider
The murder of children
In war after monstrous war
Newborn infants
Bombed to bits in hospitals
Burning children
Covered in napalm
Screaming and sobbing
As they try to escape
From the searing pain
Students on school buses
Targeted by our drones
Headed to no classrooms
But Death’s

Let us now consider
The murder of children
In poor communities
Murder by doing nothing at all
By not providing medical care
Or access to healthy foods
By not improving schools
By not creating employment opportunities
By allowing their neighborhoods
To deteriorate and disintegrate
By not holding to account
Police who shoot them at will
And with impunity

Let us now consider
The profane unquiet
Deep in the corpse-littered heart
Of the holy American Empire

Let us now consider

Buff Whitman-Bradley's poems have appeared in many print and online journals. His most recent books are To Get Our Bearings in this Wheeling World, and Cancer Cantata. With his wife Cynthia, he produced the award-winning documentary film "Outside In," and with the MIRC film collective, made the film "Por Que Venimos." His interviews with soldiers refusing to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan were made into the book "About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War." He lives in northern California. Read other articles by Buff.