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April 24, 2024

Who Has Whose Back? It's Complicated.

«Country A now has Country B’s back,» I read,
This called a big plus when peace hangs by a thread,
But never can I figure out how this works:
For if A has swiped B’s back, then B’s full of jerks,
And if B just gave it, intending some aid,
They’ve probably haven’t their options well weighed.
The mix-up, I think, is that «backing» ain’t «back,»
And having the first means the second you lack,
But indeed to your fellow man must still give,
For him to feel he has a future to live,
Or may now his new enterprise undertake,
Your back being had like a wide firebreak.
But why the back side, which borders on wacky?
And to some people can be downright tacky.
For examp’, I tell sweet Jane «I’ve got your back,»
Will she say thank you or give my cheek a smack?
I mean, back or front, these things can get tricky,
And protocol counts when you deal with the picky.
Or: «We’ve got your back,» cool companies say,
And while I ‘preciate their concern in a way,
I suspect that on my dear back there’s a price,
And from it they’re going to take a quick slice,
So I take back my back and they take it badly,
And snarl they’ll watch my crack-up quite gladly.
Yes, you’ve gotta be careful ‘bout the business of back,
‘Cause sometimes you give it and then you take flak,
While others just take it and go on a spree,
As we can see now in the old Galilee,
Where Israelis knock heads while Biden looks on,
Wringing his hands and frowning darkly upon.

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