|BBC Panorama has released footage of an apparent incendiary bombing of a playground in Aleppo, northern Syria, with 15-year-old Ahmed (pictured) among those injured. --The Independent (UK), Aug. 30, 2013.|
We sang we ain’t gonna study war no more
no more, no more, no more
no one really believed it
the children of sixteen million who came home
after the nuking of Hiroshima, Nagasaki
children of ones who liked Ike
we cowered under desks, in pencil dust,
from atomic bombs
everyone said wars were cold
we couldn’t watch the war in Korea over dinner
some people forgot
no one said World War II was the war to end all wars
there’s no believing that in death camps
there’s no hiding the snow and dust
of camps in Tule Lake
Viet Nam: our lovers talked about Canada
we sang, we marched, we swore
war was no longer cold, just secret
the agents were orange
we heard death counts
veterans came home, stooped
to pick up pieces
We have been there
green rocket traceries on the night sky
friendly fire, civilian casualties
surgical intervention minus surgeons
Operation Desert Storm Panama Libya
Afghanistan Iraq Somalia
we declared wars
on poverty hunger terror
in the name of enduring freedom
I stand here today tempted to lay my burdens
down -- but there’s no safe place for rusted freedoms.
Our children are hungry.
They cannot afford higher education.
We are still afraid.
Tricia Knoll is a Portland, Oregon poet whose work has appeared in many journal publications. She is a regular contributor to The New Verse News.