In seventeen and forty one

In seventeen and forty one,
my family reached these shores;
each generation since that time
has fought this country’s wars.

Against the French, and then the Britons,
then in Union blue;
the Spanish, Mexican and Natives,
when each call came through.

In Europe, twice, and then, Korea,
Laos, Vietnam;
and last, Kuwait, Iraq,
against the dread Saddam.

Can those brave leaders say the same
who now say we must fight,
not for a principle, but money?
It does not seem right.

How many simple farmers’ sons
must fight the rich men’s wars?
How many inner city youths
die while prep school kids keep score?

My family ranks with DAR,
and led Marines through Seoul;
with no excuse or privilege card,
we marched, and payed the toll.

With Washington and Jefferson;
with Lincoln, Grant, and Polk;
with Roosevelt and Eisenhower,
marched our simple folk.

With Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush,
our sons went off to war;
but now, I think the marching’s done
and we will fight no more.

For battle without honor,
in the name of greed and pride
turns soldiers into mere machines
with no heart left inside.

If you would wage such wars,
keep all your smart bombs and new guns;
and for your cannon fodder,
find some other family’s sons.

29 May 2005

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