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AlbertJayNock

April

Tomorrow is the first day of April. As every T.S. Eliot scholar and every sports fan knows,
April is the cruelest month. This is not just Eliot's opinion. There is a damn good case to be made against the month of April.

It is a particularly hectic month. At work, I have to do advising and turn in my year-end activity report. Taxes are due April 15th. All this in a month in which we lose an hour.

If I am ever elected President of the United States, our clocks will not spring ahead until after we have filed our taxes.

History bears out the cruelty of April. All manner of horrid things have historically happened in April. April 19th is particularly notorious. It is the date of both the Oklahoma City Bombing and the Waco fire.

The Columbine massacre happened on April 20th. Harris and Klebold planned on this date because it is also Adolph Hitler's birthday.

I have known all these horrible April facts for a long time. I recently learned that the
Khmer Rouge took Phnom Penh on April 17,1975, leading to one of the worst genocides in history. (Per capita, it was worse than the holocaust).

I wrote a poem about the month of April shortly after the Columbine massacre.

April 1999

“The Wasteland” was prophetic. April is
Indeed quite cruel. The lilacs from the dead
Ground mourn the helpless children’s senseless deaths.
Six years ago in Waco, seventeen,
And now in Colorado, twelve. And just
As T.S. Eliot turned metaphors
Of Spring upon their head, so April has
Inverted what we know as just and good.
Trenchcoated thugs disdaining law and life
Behave like those before in Waco who
Claimed law was on their side. The children’s young
Blood soaks the earth and stains our souls. May God
Have mercy on this sick and lawless land.


I used to read it at every April poetry reading at Jackson's Java. Over the years I've had some doubts about painting all of the agents at Waco with such a broad brush. Some of them behaved abominably (such as the guy who stopped the firetrucks and refused to let them through as the place was burning down) but others were just caught in the middle of a bad situation.

The whole thing was horrible though.

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