19 September 2017

The River

upstream from white sand beaches are hamlets, paddies and canyons bombshells unexploded, cratered land, cratered faces 
mangled extremities, defective births... 
the villages have memories nightmares and visions 
the countryside still echoes... 
we returned to the comfort of our politics and rhetoric 
leaving a legacy of disfigurement... 
scarring persons and landscape 
poisoned food chain 
poisoned minds 
blackened hearts... 
a righteous nation 
hands over hearts reciting the pledge still preaching to the world 
hands over ears and eyes still speaking the lies 
making the guilt safe and tucked away in hospitals and dead-end jobs 
in parades and sunday services 
in vfw and legion halls 
in broken homes 
in shattered illusions 
in battered women's shelters 
in cemeteries... 

rather than learning from our mistakes we adopt a new battle cry... 
"next time we'll only fight if they'll let us win"... 
as if that excuses our interventions

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From a long ago classmate of mine...a conservative.

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