Friday, August 18, 2006

He’s the Bomb
There must be well over a
hundred of us here
and only one of him.
And we’re watching him.
Yea… We’re watching his every move.

He’s different than us.
He’s a man of dark complexion.
He’s got this special beard.
He’s wearing a white robe.
A thobe?
A jellaba?
And what with that matching white skullcap…
“You’re not from around here, are you buddy?”

His complexion?
What’s so special about that?
Of those of us
watching him,
many are lighter;
many darker.
Some have the exact same skin tone.
It ain’t that.
Rather, it’s that,
plus this,
plus that.
It’s him as the total package
which has caught our pensive attention.

If we saw him down at the local shopping mall,
would we bother to study him so closely?
Well yes,
we’d notice him,
but he wouldn’t achieve the level of critical
he’s got right now.

Oh yea,
I suppose I should have pointed out that all of us…
All of us, plus one…
All of us are waiting at the gate.
And on the far side of that gate…
an airplane.
You know…
One of those things you used to associate with flight,
but now you envision it as
high-rise projectile;
fireball in the sky;
a great big
lawn dart.

And what’s fascinating is that
we as a racist nation
(and don’t tell me we ain’t)…
That all of us of assorted complexions,
all standing here at this boarding gate,
wouldn’t all bond together as one big ugly bigot
just because that one other
special complexion
is sitting over there, wrapped
in his pristine white jilbab robe.

But now listen:
it’s not about the color of his skin.
If there’s something we fear
(and yes, fear
is part of this equation),
it’s the ideas that are in his head.
It’s those thoughts based on
two thousand years worth of religion.

“My God! What is he thinking?!”
No. Rather,
“His God. What is he thinking?”

And there,
holding boarding pass in hand,
waiting to step through that gate,
I imagine someone walking up to
that which we fear, and asking,
Hey you!
Just what are you thinking?
What’s going on your mind?”

And strangely,
I can hear his response.
Something like:
Yes, fear.
I and my god
are afraid of you and your god.”

Is this what it comes down to?
Don’t you find it strange that two gods
of such immense power
would have us embrace fear
as opposed to that of each other’s hand?

Could there be a chance that
the slightest touch between us might negate
not only fear, but
those gods which create it?
It’s a dangerous, dangerous thing.

So, no.
He and we…
All of us about to take flight…
We take flight from fear,
and with fear,
as we will not permit one hand
to take shelter within the clasp of
that other’s.

So the moment finally comes,
and we all pass through that gate.
Our tickets have been bought, and
I’d like to think our destination was set,
but up in the cockpit,
two almighty pilots
struggle for control of the stick,
and with it,
our fate.

©06 Jack Hubbell