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Saturday, August 20, 2011


by Gilbert Allen

The flyer adds, SUPPORT OUR TROOPS
beneath our future burgers.  Oops.

Publicans (Republicans?)
pour forth those endless Yes They Cans

while never asking why we should
hold privates' blood a public good.

Support our troops!  It's always plural.
Imagine Chuck's a Cub Scout.  War will

dog his troop from Boy to Eagle
till his Marine enlistment's legal.

Tip of our country's sword!  Fantastic!
He'll serve us, till he's sheathed in plastic.

Chuck has no special interest group.
Be singular.  Support a troop.

Gilbert Allen lives in Travelers Rest, SC, and teaches at Furman University, where he is the Bennette E. Geer Professor of Literature.  His fourth book of poems Driving to Distraction (Orchises, 2003) was featured on The Writers' Almanac and Verse Daily.  In 2007 he received the Robert Penn Warren Prize from The Southern Review for his sequence of poems "The Assistant."