Janice D. Soderling

What We Talk About When We Talk About Torture

Waterboarding? It’s just a word,
a useful word, like surfing, like sailing,
like basketball. Nothing appalling
about it, friend. That scream you heard?
I didn’t hear nothing. Maybe a night bird.
Anyway the end
justifies the means. Anyway the point is to bend
not break. OK, so break a little maybe. That wail you heard?
Just the wind. Don’t forget
we’re the good guys. Not some Hitler jerk or Stalin
character. We got nothing in common
with historic monsters like them. I’ll bet
you don’t understand the kind of people we’re dealin’
with here. It’s like they aren’t even human.

Janice D. Soderling is a previous contributor to Protestpoems. Her poems with political themes have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Apple Valley Review, New Verse News, nth position and the sadly now defunct journals Green Fuse and Babel Fruit. Scheduled publications include The Centrifugal Eye, Studio Journal, Literary Bohemian, Literary Mama, Turtle Quarterly, dotdotdash, Boston Literary Magazine. Coe Review and Mezzo Cammin.

(author retains copyright)