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Not In My Name.

A mother's tear slips from her
aging face, drowning the warping
wood beneath her feet in fear and
despair; her eldest son will sail
to foreign soil,
no: sand,
this time.
To a jungle far different than
the sticky, sweaty, Agent-
Orange soaked death pit
of his father.
A war begins today.
As the tear drop echoes off
the deck, a twisted butterfly
effect, the tears of a sharp-
nosed, leathery, ancient man flow,
forced out by the gas as
his children and grandchildren
and wife, enemies of Democracy,
had been such a short while back.
He stops, straightens his posture,
and takes his stand.
The war begins today.
A thousand lead teardrops per minute
pummel the tiny, mud shack. A young
mother, age fourteen, lies motionless,
a trail of darkened blood lengthening
from the corners of her mouth.
The baby will be silenced soon.
The father rises from beneath
the tin-roof rubble.
His war begins today.
Borne by solemn pallbearers, shedding
tears of grief far beyond solace,
a flag-draped box of finest manufactured
cedar was carried, amid 21-gun fire
and Taps, through my town square this
morning. The propaganda spreads like a
bubonic fever, infecting the crowds with
pride for their dead son. They haven't
seen the enormous, gushing hole
in the back of his clean-cut head.
My friend is carried among swine
in front of my tear-swollen eyes.
My war begins today.
But wars are begun not by spilled
blood of innocents, not in honour of
long-dead champions of valour.
War is only truly begun when done
in name.
In the name of the ambitious, the
influential, the powerful, and the
cutthroat; the unaffected, the
conservative, and the religion-
ridden radicals. In the name of
cowboy justice, diplomatic immunity,
moneymaking schemes, and pro-
paternal aspirations. In the name of
God him-Almighty-self, Allah, and Yahweh.
But never, not in dreams untold,
in the name of a weeping mother.
Not in the name of a fiery,
idealistic, resolute guerilla fighter.
Not in the name of a young father, forced
to bury his children and wife.
Not in my name.


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