I am sitting at the Arizona Memorial,
which shows how far my scruples have gone.
I lived in Hawaii for years, and
could almost claim to be a kamaaina.
without the least inclination
to visit this memorial to war.
I look at the line up of people, a
new group every forty minutes, and
wonder at the numbers and differences
in races and genders and ages,
and the irony of a Japanese American
tour guide and think, Manzanar. Yet,
could this be cause for real optimism?
Is this just a job for him like the guides
at Gettysburg or Agincourt ?
Has time healed the wounds so soon?
Are events now so remote, so rapidly?
Who leads the tours at Buchenwald, and
I sit in the midst of tour group twelve,
the eleven-forty bunch,
and wonder what I will hear.
Will it be fair?
Will we hear of scrape metal and crude oil
as well as military factions, Tojo and the Diet?
Will we hear of honest people
on both sides
that try to avert a tragedy?
Will we hear of the millions
held in thrall
to the follies of a few?