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Fall 2005

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The Ministry of Emergency Situations
Todd Swift

After an emergency situation
All wedding rings must be removed
And citizens will be asked to undress
In the streets. The Minister herself
Will bathe those affected with disinfectant
Foam. They must ensure their eyes
Are shut. Those who refuse to take off
Their jewellery, tokens of affection, clothes,
Will be shot. The fully naked will dance
In the medical shower, then be x-rayed
And scanned by robot magnets small as
Mites. The dead will rot where they fall.
The Minister's minions will run things;
Inspections will go on. The cleansed
Victims will be allowed to request
Compensation for their torn rags,
Their melted trinkets, irradiated keepsakes.
The Ministry of Songs will form a choir,
And douse them in anthems on liberty.