General Eisenhower was on the point of death, having taken some herbal poison himself. He was under the bed. I crouched down, reached for his hand, clasped it not good but then tried to clasp it again. He said something. I couldn’t make it out. He died. A friend of mine was going to take care of the body. The ribs had burst. The friend was wrapping the body in something and taking it away, ritually. Everything was done with Chinese herbs. I’m saying one of the most important leaders of the 20th Century has died!
I’m sitting at a table with Heather Wilson. Several others are also at the table. Heather Wilson and I are clipping some shell-like things in preparation for the burial. General Dwight Eisenhower had been living in this house for a time. My Grandmother took care of him & she was telling us about it. There were a couple bowls of black tea bags & he used to love to make tea with those tea bags.
The General’s body, though dead, was making noises & writhing disjointed. My friend wrapped it up & took the General’s body off to burial. I’m sitting there amazed how we are all working together to affectionately & properly say goodbye to the General. Some how when he was President I thought what he mostly did was play golf. I know that others are remarking on the amazing fact that Heather Wilson and I are harmoniously sitting together snipping at the shells getting them ready. All kinds of people are gathered to remember the General. There are rare things of his in glass cases. There are medicines & oriental items displayed.
I wake up. I see the meaning of the dream and remember clasping the General’s hand when he was dying. We’ve got to take his pronouncement to heart, his warning to beware “the military-industrial complex.” He’s handed us this prophecy and it’s up to us to do something about it now.
Stand up against the military, the defense budget, the arms manufacturers, the war profiteers and the greedy corporate giants that are the enemy of democracy & our traditional freedoms. The General is passing on the warning to us again: get active, heed his warning & carry out his wishes.
larry goodell / placitas, new mexico / written 16Feb2006 / from State of Disunion, poems 2006-07
Note: Heather Wilson, former New Mexico Republican Congresswoman, now trying to beat Representative Martin Heinrich (D) in the race to fill Senator Bingaman’s vacated seat (D).