i.m. Andrew Bushnell

Andrew Bushnell, twenty-five-year-old
airman, though you’ve passed from our ken,
I still feel the flames that will not die out
on the ground you hallowed with your burnt life.
A guard rushed you, while another shouted,
“I don’t need guns, I need fire
extinguishers!” frantic to silence
your agonized voice of fire. Did it
have to be that way? In your mind it did.
Soon after that, a hundred died
clamoring for food in starving Gaza . . .
How can we say what needs to be said
loud enough to be heard over the grinding
of the war money machine that mills our bones
for its bread? Aaron Bushnell, your friends
said you were smart, kind, funny, and brave.
I’m sorry for them and for your family,
but more than that I’m sorry for the crimes
that drove you to your extreme protest.
I pray that more young do not follow suit,
for we can’t afford to lose a single
one of you in this world where all are needed
to take down the Goliath of cruelty
and death our weapons have loosed upon
the nations crying out to live in peace.
The guard spoke truth: This burning world needs 
every fire extinguisher we can bring to it.



Thomas Smith







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