The Worst People in the World

To bundle up
as protection
against the season’s chill,
a gift of warm blankets,
infected with smallpox
delivers genocide.

On rocky waves,
human cargo is
stacked in cages
to be delivered into slavery.

The old black and white
photograph of a lynching
where one stiff lifeless soul
dangles from a branch
and a smiling crowd
mugs for the camera.

The gong of time
to mark barbed wire around the citizens,
barbed wire along the borders
and to protect the government installations.

The smell of morning
in a prison
where old tortures are revived
to entertain the superpower conquerors.

Americans are the worst people
in the world

except for the Germans
and the Rwandans
and the Cambodians

and not counting all those white boys
who died fighting to free the slaves,
and liberating France
before the Marshall plan.
took man to the moon
dressed him in Levis
gave flight to Superman,
and freely handed out the cure for polio.

Stuart Stromin is a South African-American writer and filmmaker, living in Los Angeles. He was educated at Rhodes University, South Africa, the Alliance Francaise de Paris, and UCLA. His work has appeared in Sheila-na-gig online, River River, Alterating Current, The Chaffin Journal, The Garfield Lake Review, Blood Puddles, etc. Read other articles by Stuart.