Saturday, January 3, 2009

War is Not Healthy

"War is not healthy" the poster read

as it hung upon the wall,

"For children and other living things,"

this icon of the 70's,

symbolic of the songs we sing

as we march upon the street,

hoping that the peace we'd bring.

As students we remembered that

our friends were being shipped to fight;

victims of low GPA's or

lottery became their plight.

We read the names of high school friends

killed those days in Viet Nam

well aware it could be us,

we rose up on the campus lawn.

Across the room another sign

"Nuclear free zone"

this one read.

How obvious its message was

as daily we record our dead.

The war that lasted far too long,

"not war," they claimed, but "occupation."

We didn't know the difference then--

we stood with posters at our station.

The arm bands worn then

said it best,

we will not put our friends to rest!

Our voices heard,

they headed home

to country that rejected them

as if the choice was theirs alone

to plunder villages and folks...

No acceptance of the burden

that they carried as their yokes.

War is not healthy... !

we stood firm and

marched each night in steady stream...

Where is that girl who believed

but now no longer owns that dream?

Who wonders if this current war

will last beyond her daughter's term

who will be called upon for years,

duty bound, to again return?

Beautiful girl, beloved by all,

a princess in her parents' eyes,

upon the duty of the call

she must obey and then arise.

A daughter trained to protect, defend,

Does she, herself, awakened lie?

Why must she bear this burden now--

prepared to fight, perhaps to die?


Tao Master said...

I am speechless - that was a great poem (still is). I have an idea going through my head - to make an internet literary mazagine - from writings of people associated with the Creative Writing Class - do think it is do-able and could we use your poem ? I am proud to know you, to see the true voice of you come alive - Keep going Soulsearcher!

Petula said...

Wow! Your feelings, concern and love are all apparent. I pray your daughter remains safe as she fights for us and continues to do her duty. I can't even imagine what you're experiencing, but I hope you find peace and that your daughter returns safely.

Lin said...

Nice poetry, Diane. Let's hope this thing ends and soon. The War, I mean--not your poetry! :)

butterfly woman said...

So nice to see another facet of how you write. Beautiful and heartfelt, as all your works seem to be. Interesting the path this poem took, from your own connections with war early on and now your daughter's role in it. The poem flows because of this, I hope you get solice and healing here, I certainly do.