Kolo
sebiljandricmak-dizdar

Kolo

In march the soldiers
with rifles on their shoulders.
out run through brambles
the locals with their bundles.

Off fly the envoys
contemplating new ways
of creating symmetry
in a future cemetery.

Up go the pundits
explicating bandits.
Clearly outworded,
down go the murdered.

The expensive warriors,
sailing by on carriers
flying Old Glory,
signal hunky-dory.

Far is the neighbor,
loveless or unable,
neutral or bullied.
Near is a bullet.

Deep dig new hermits
sporting blue helmets.
Reasonable offers
manufacture orphans.

Blood as a liquid
shows no spilling limit;
one might build finally
here a refinery.

Home stay the virtuous
with their right to watch this
live, while they are dining:
it’s a mealtime dying.

Soiled turns the fabric
of the great republic.
Ethics by a ballot
is what it’s all about.

Mourn the slaughtered.
Pray for those squatted
In some concrete lair
facing betrayal.

“Kolo” from COLLECTED POEMS IN ENGLISH by Joseph Brodsky. – © 2000 by the Estate of Joseph Brodsky. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved. http://www.fsgbooks.com/
Poem was originally published in the New York Review of Books, July 13, 1995.

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