I imagine, when I hear their words: dusty, discarded boots strewn along an endless road that seems to lead into the haze of heat and clouds barracading the forward course.
I remember the sound of children calling across the macadam yard: “Michael, Destiny, Isis, Caleb, Carmella, Jesus, Maria, Malik , Megan, Eduardo, Elijah, Emma…..”
I recall the frigid afternoon: “The Blizzard of the Century!” Who knew those little feet could spawn such tumult, the thunder of their winter boots; the children absconding to safety.
Today, the powerful promise , arranged, swaddled benevolently: there will not be, not again, not this time! “No Boots on the Ground.”
(When they speak, we see again, thick fleecy boots warming the feet of our young children)
Is it the sound of their own voices, calibrated finely: sonorous and solemn in a perfect pairing, which so intoxicates them?
They devour their own edicts, attending echoes in their own hearts and in halls both hallowed and profane, which swell the wires and the cables and the airwaves, saturating space and sight not to trumpet the power or the virtue or the veracity or even the excellence of the affirmation but merely the status and the singularity of the speaker.
Or, do the images they conjure so invigorate some latent propensity that vigor ejects all previous routine? They are dazzled: shining shining weapons; deserts turned to clouds of fire; weapons wielding death by expensive super-secret, software; covert victories in dark of night by classified, special forces. They achieve glory: ” Innovators,” “Leaders in military and strategic planning” “Wizard of the New Wars!”
As they repeat the promise of these bootless battles, their brains scheme victory banners, their aides conceive celebrations.
And listening but not quite understanding, we watch our daughters lace their shoes.