Thoughts on Armed Conflict: a curtal sonnet

If there exists a cause to take up arms,
while breath survives some live to find it just,
and seek to purify themselves in blood,
forsaking for the fray their fields and farms
to wage war on their brothers; for they must,
to raise themselves, throw others in the mud.
Then when their deeds of heroism fade,
and victory’s bread is devoured to crust,
when time has dried to dust the victor’s flood
of rhetoric, what’s left of the charade
is crud.

19 MAY 2003

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