Tuesday, November 11, 2014

similar wars


another war ending
more guilty feelings for not
being able to pick up a gun
grenade or flamethrower
or salvaging, saving
a photograph, a last letter home

some part of speech was lost
in this war
less protest than that one
where we may have put a daisy
in a gun barrel
and said “ make love, not war”
or as easily, cursed the soldier

surely the feelings are different now

my reluctance hardly balances
your willingness
my comfort weighs lightly
on your sacrifice
my desire for self-preservation
is too thin a veil to obscure your courage
my inability to know what I might die for
can not diminish your steadfast belief
that you were doing the right thing
yet, at the end, I am here alive
while you are a number
on another list of those lost to war
another name on a stone or steel memorial
who can say thank you, now
and have it mean anything
to your family, to anyone

conscripted or enlisted or not
does it matter whether this war
was any more necessary than that war
will it matter

if your death or my life was in vain

Barry DeCarli
Ferrisburgh, VT
December, 16-18, 2011
November 11, 2014
Copyright 2014 Barry DeCarli 




2 comments:

  1. "... my desire for self-preservation
    is too thin a veil to obscure your courage ..."
    Beautiful lines.

    ReplyDelete