Y’all Qaeda, poem by Marcus Bales

They don't believe in women's rights
         Or sci­ence data;
Break­fast prayers pro­vide their heights
Of thought, but only for the whites,
They see them­selves as south­ern knights
Who've got the Feds dead in their sights,
         The brave Y'all Qae­da.

Our zealots are as bad as theirs–
         A long parade of
Idiots who think affairs
Have gone to hell and no one cares
Except for them who think repairs
Require vio­lence and prayers
         By brave Y'all Qae­da.

They car­ry guns so they won't fear
         What they're afraid of:
A decent life of peace that's clear
Of weapons since the new fron­tier
Is mul­ti­cul­tur­al, peer-to-peer,
And not some fuck­ing buc­ca­neer
         From brave Y'all Qae­da.

They each remain a will­ing slave
         To their cru­sade of
Being free to mis­be­have
With igno­rance and hate. But they've
Mis­un­der­stood what they should save:
Unarmed civil­ians are more brave
         Than brave Y'all Qae­da.

The courage of civil­ian life
         Is a cas­cade of
Moments of con­trol­ling strife
With which each situation's rife
With­out a gun or bomb or knife
So you can love your kids and wife–
         Not brave Y'all Qae­da.

They're liv­ing in the Yel­low Zone
         And in the shade of
Ter­rors we've already shown
Are liv­able — all peo­ple own
The same desires, and most have thrown
Their lot to see their chil­dren grown–
         Not in Y'all Qae­da.

The time has come, you bloody fools:
Show what you're made of.
Build, instead of blow up, schools,
And teach and live by gold­en rules
Instead of hoard­ing gold and jew­els.
Put down your weapons, pick up tools,
         O brave Y'all Qae­da.

balesNot much is known about Mar­cus Bales except he lives and works in Cleve­land, Ohio, and his work has not appeared in Poet­ry or The New York­er.

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