The American Precedent
(to the tune of “I Have Dreamed,” from The King and I)

I have schemed to despoil and pillage.
I have launched Shock and Awe campaigns.
I have bombed every town and village
That would not – and gladly – wear the empire’s chains.

What a thrill to observe the rubble
Where once houses lined the streets.
Fields of grain now a blackened stubble
Signs of our predictable trademark defeats.

       In these nightmares you will see
       What has long-since come to be:
       Ugly Truth revealed by night and day.
       Still, you seek to turn your eyes away.

I have lied just to keep in practice;
Just so I wouldn’t lose my touch.
Even though no one has attacked us,
I insist that someone “bad” did such-and-such.

       In these nightmares I’ll appear
       As a barking-mad King Lear:
       What I’ll give you ‘cause you would not kneel.
       You deserve a “life” beneath my heel.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2022