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Matt Mason

Code Orange


"There are known knowns.  These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns.  There are things we don't know we don't know."

--Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld clarifying US policy on the war on terror at a Department of Defense News Briefing

   's not always 
           the little boy
who cries
the wolf
                       points         away.
Duct tape your doors shut,
we're on Code Orange, Code Orange, people,
blue skies
                 no matter, there's anthrax
somewhere, somebody said something about smallpox
      wherever, an unnamed man reportedly said something 
was coming down
   eventually.  A man said
people were going to die,
people are going to die,
Americans are going to die.
Officials are quoted as saying things,
officials are quoted as saying, Hurry, hurry, run,
seal yourself in a ziplock bag
in a lead-walled box
in a hole
in the earth
in prayer to our God,
and sources report
we aren't ready, we're not scared enough
and if we 
don't get a little more hysterical,
then the terrorists will win 
because sources suggest
it could be any day, hour, minute, second,
it could be any metropolis, city, small town, farmstead,
or possibly even somewhere else; for God's sake,
there are 
we're not safe, we're not safe,
now do what we say
and nobody gets hurt.
There's fear
out past your walls, there's fear itself
blowing against the plastic sheeting and the bars of grey tape,
there's so much
to fear, we must do more,
we have to fight them,
kill them, cripple them
for Jesus,
It's not always
                         the little boy
                         who cries
Sometimes the wolf
                cries wolf.
And it's not always the wolf
our little boys are sent out
to kill.

With an MA from the University of California at Davis, Matt Mason returned to Nebraska to write and earn a living by whatever legal means he could find.  He now teaches writing workshops for high school students, works as a freelance sound mixer, and runs, a listing of Nebraska's  poetry events.

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