256 Words

And Isn't it Ironic?
Degrees Explored from Triviality to Tragedy

M. Stanley Bubien

He won the lottery and died the next day.
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay...

"Must I shake his hand? The man is a terrorist," he thinks. "No! Was! Was a terrorist." His stomach turns.

They enter in a rush. Escorts. Dignitaries. Reporters. The man.

Cameras flash like lightning.

"Peace isn't easy." Reaching out, he clasps the man's hand.

A traffic jam when you're already late.
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break...

The Prime Minister steps from the car.

Jeers meet him as he inspects the scene. The crowd's reaction bothers him, but not as much as the shattered windows, the red sidewalk, the pieces of humanity strewn about the street.

Terror. Designed to derail the very peace that would put an end to such violence.

He turns toward the jeers. He wants to speak to the crowd with his eyes, to tell them that it won't end here---peace will prevail. But he looks toward the ground.

It's like rain on your wedding day.
It's a free ride when you've already paid...

The woman cries as the bulldozer tears into her home, "I already lost my son!"

She breaks free of the soldier. Running toward the machine, she screams, "He was a killer! But I didn't raise him that way!"

Her legs buckle. She hits the dirt. Stunned.

"Don't take my home... not for his actions," she says to the earth.

"My people bleed from suicide bombs. This is our only solution," the soldier answers.

And she pays the price twice over.

Copyright ©2001 M. Stanley Bubien. All Rights Reserved.

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October, 2001
Issue #66

256 Words