Thursday, July 31, 2008

National Security

“Goddamn! It was our patriotic duty!”
Podolski shouted from the wooden chair.
“For you, the whole shebang is tutti-frutti.
For you, there are no anarchists out there!
But in my world, subversion’s all around us.
It’s difficult to tell who’s friend or foe.
Those who strive in secret to confound us
Are people that we like to think we know.”

The prosecutor pressed his hands together
And gave a smile that didn’t reach his eyes.
“Mister Podolski, can I ask you whether
You actually believe these bare-faced lies?
Senator McClinton from Kentucky?
Senator de Fraine from Tennessee?
And all those others who were just unlucky
To have opposed your boss politic’lly?
You’re telling us, the people and the nation,
That all of these are en’mies of the state?
Linked to some subversive org’nisation?
Seeking to destroy all we create?”
The prosecutor turned, his arched expression
Seeking to evince complete surprise.

Podolski lounged back, giving the impression
He didn’t give a damn ‘bout swatting flies.
“Listen bud, you’ve really no idea
‘Bout the private lives of those we bugged.
I know what lurks beneath that bright veneer.”
Here Podolski paused awhile and shrugged.
“You want me to reveal the conversations
Of McClinton and de Fraine and all the rest?
Are you prepared for all the revelations?
You sure you want to put me to the test?”

He’s like a cobra, thought the prosecutor,
Cold of blood and lacking all compassion.
In days of yore, he’d pack a mean six-shooter
And kill you in an antiseptic fashion.

The bugging had been clinical and chilling,
A little chip installed inside a tooth.
Thirteen bugs, each hidden in a filling,
Until a drunken dentist spilled the truth.
Security had been the reason cited,
Each victim had at least one dubious friend.
Podolski was the first to be indicted
And no-one knew quite where the trail would end.

But before the prosecutor’d time to answer,
The judge’s gavel smote the hollow bench.
“Adjourned until tomorrow,” said Judge Dancer.
“Clear the courtroom – there’s an awful stench.”
The prosecutor rose in protestation
But withered ‘neath Judge Dancer’s sternest gaze.
Deep down he knew at once the situation –
Pay the money and the piper plays.

McClinton and de Fraine met at the Hilton.
De Fraine could only nibble at his bread.
“Don’t worry,” said McClinton. “Pass the Stilton.
Tomorrow Piers Podolski will be dead.”

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