AMERIKArn(Beograd, 1999)rnby Matija BeckovicrnSome boys my age in KolashinrnBack in 1950-somethingrnSet off on horsesrnto escape to America.rnThe posse caught them at the edge of townrnhi back of the first privies and pigstiesrnBut if they liad reached the bend in the road and therntiiicketsrnThe conld have easily made it,rnFallen pkimp onto the bosom of America.rnOnly the vigilant forces of law and orderrnPrevented that catastrophe.rnThev got np with the birdsrnand set off at the crack of dawnrnTo make it to America in timernBut the sun was hardlv uprnWhen they were marched through town,rn.Along with the .stolen horses.rnDressed in trousers of many colors and checkered shirtsrnwith a sign hung round the neck:rn”I wanted to escape to America.”rnIt was high noon when the decree was readrnExpelling them from all the schools in the countryrnShort shrift that vet)’ dayrnAt first dusk, when they had hopedrnTo be spread out at easernLike a drop of water on America’s palm,rnThev were hauled off in ironsrncuffed fight to the Islands of Hell.rnEscape across the borderrnWas die only way of going abroadrnAnd if it were not for the watch-dog on the wirernRunning up and down the length of the staternThe v hole nation would have long ago escaped.rnThose who had got out from under the knifernRetreated across the borderrnThey were already in AmericarnTogertier with our KingrnEagerK’ waifing for us to keep them company.rnBut if they did not let us go to AmericarnThey coidd not forbid AmericarnTo come to usrnIf not by the St. Elijah’s Feast in AugustrnThen by ChristmasrnIf not bv ChristmasrnCertainh b ElasterrnIn prison darkness die light is kindled from outside.rnAnd when at last the Berlin Wall came downrnAnd all the prisons made of that same stonernMy boyhood friends they called the Yanks came out intornthe sunshinernAnd like the ant that grows wings in old agernWith hats off beside the transistor radiornThey listened to the Voice of AmericarnExpecting them to report the name of diat nationrnThe greatest little nation in the worldrnOr so the thoughtrnThe Hero of the word fiiat is given and keptrnFelled for liberty and AmericarnWliich liberh’ gave birth tornAnd treason killedrnAll of which America knew bestrnAnd wrote down in the book of truthrnWliich is kept .safe in the sacred arkrnIn the heart o( AmericarnWhich it will open now and start to read . . .rnBut the Voice of America was reporting from anotherrnworldrnConstandv repeating its new sloganrnWE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN THE PASl^rnAnd threatening to toast the SerbsrnNo later than ChristmasrnWhich meant certainly by EasterrnAnd as thev from time to time repeatedrnWE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN THE PASTrnSpeaking the wordsrnAs if they were falling leaf for leafrnAnd becoming themselves part of the pastrnAnd with them America receded into the pastrnKnocked down with the Berlin WallrnVanished with Communism.rnMARCH 2000/23rnrnrn