Saturday, August 04, 2012

Pentagon Tour

I went to the Pentagon
back before 9/11
back during Reagan
my whole family with me
went down the reinforced shafts
to the underground shopping mall
Sat for an hour of behind-our-backs
behind-the-scenes background checks
flags waving on a screen
music blaring at a tweaked level of feeling
The tour finally began
our guide a Marine
never turning his vision away from us
our approved American grouping
he walked the whole tour backward
two and a half miles
his smile neither forced, nor sincere
The facts he threw us
his own professional mantra
repeated at least 30 times a week
walking backward down gleaming hallways
talking about the number of toilets
the number of doorknobs
the number of steps down each hallway
and whatever else never truly matters
We walked and walked, encouraged not to talk
I walked wishing for something real
I came away with nothing
maybe a t-shirt

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