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Saturday, November 13, 2021


Poem for Veterans Day
by Sandra Anfang

Pictured L to R: Joan Baez, Pauline Baez Marden, Mimi Farina in this 1968 poster, from a Jim Marshall photograph, promoting draft resistance during the Vietnam War. Source: National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

to boys who say no.
The words ring hollow
in my ears like a looped refrain
from a scratched LP
a not-so-distant memory.
Aligned with the movement
I nodded and signed on. I never
gave my body—much less
heart—to a man in uniform, unless he worked
in the service of people, animals, or trees.
But what about the other war
the one that ogled us
from leering unshaved faces
from portraits on greenbacks
from slave ships and pedophile priests?
Blissfully unaware of the battle
that raged behind clenched teeth
we sailed along, soothed by the
waters of our beliefs, decades
before our lips would shape the words me too.

Sandra Anfang is the author of three poetry collections and her work has been published in numerous journals. She's also a visual artist, editor, poetry teacher in the schools, and host of a long-running poetry series. She lives in Northern California, where she looks for good trouble every day.