Poetry: When They Come by E. Martin Pedersen

When They Come

When they come for your mind
the voice will be that of your mother
the background will be your favorite place on earth
where you feel safe and warm
the camera will focus on your most embarrassing moments
pants down, scratching, crying without reason
broadcast worldwide as comedy
when they come for my mind
they’ll make war sound like the only way out
they’ll play my favorite song as I march
they’ll threaten me with prison
or dead family members
I only pretend to care about
but who I must save
when they come for our minds
they'll propose true eternal love
for a small donation, which is everything
for a good cause, our hearts bleed
a new religion, a business opportunity
to be like the rich, all the coke and hookers we can stand
I do not want to die, really, I don't
but when I do, then I won't
have to remember any more user names, passwords,
pin codes, high school locker combinations
names of people, places, things
I don’t want to remember
nothing left for them to take
I will never give again.

E. Martin Pedersen is originally from San Francisco, but has lived for over 40 years in eastern Sicily, where he taught English at the local university. His poetry appeared most recently in Ginosko, Metaworker, Triggerfish, Unlikely Stories Mark V, and Grey Sparrow Review among others. Martin is an alumnus of the Community of Writers. He has published two collections of haiku, Bitter Pills and Smart Pills, and a chapbook, Exile's Choice, just out from Kelsay Books. A full collection, Method & Madness, is forthcoming from Odyssey Press.


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