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POETRY 3ffUTJU3 3iiT EX State of the Union It has been a lifetime since the raw smell of fear permeated my nostrils, but it is here in this classroom in the pale light of a Texas winter. They are nineteen, twenty and twenty-one, these bright faced boys in English 3300, future teachers, programmers, engineers. I dream them in brown desert fatigues, their faces dusted with the hard crystal sand, of a white desert, pointing M-16s with shaking hands. They will come back missing arms, legs or in a black plastic body bag, dog tags punched through their big toes for easy identification. The President said last night on national T.V.,”We must Stop terrorism at any cost.” Tell me, Mr. President, which ones Deception Pass Is where the silver salmon slam into shiny lures trolled by wearers of waders. Sea otters slide into sea brine in search of an evening appetizer. The sky’s masterpiece shifts colors from tangerine to crimson. As light retreats, only the pulse of wavelets on a stony shore sustains. Do the headlights that crawl the bridgeworks see to their right or left? Or does the sunset erase the visions we think we see and re -paint them again tomorrow for us alonewho are slow and do not mind the honesty of wet moss and smooth-washed stones? Karl EWeyrauch 0 are you willing to or as sacrifices to our invisible enemies? Which ones? I need to tell the Registrar, they won’t be here for Fall classes. Cynthia Harper Cynthia Harper lives in San Antonio. She teaches literature at St. Mary’s University. Karl F. Weyrauch is a family practitioner and volunteer in Seattle. His work has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, among other places. Naomi Shihab Nye.