Tides of War


Was there truth

before the war?

Did we do

what we could

to try to venerate it?

Cast the vulnerable

against the tide

of indignation

that we had realized.

A bullet,

punched through a book.

We only noticed

when the blood touched

our hallowed ground.

There have been

those of us

who celebrate

that kind of thing,


I used to think

we knew what we

were doing,

but I’m afraid

I don’t believe that


I saw the same thing

in the schoolyard,

and to my horror

we haven’t come

very far.

Traded innocence

for avarice.

Bought celebrity

with shame.

We gilded

the edges of our skin

with the blood

of those who chose

to play.

Recruited an army

of the derelict,

and dissatisfied.

Told them

the only way to live

was to pick a side,

then made them meet

the tide.

I remember,

before the war,

but I

don’t want to go back.

I want something different

in the end.

Proof that we

have learned our lesson.

Guess we must burn

the distemper out.

The feeling

of fever,

and steel


that what remains

on the other side

is real.



DJR – 2023

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