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Scott Kendrick: Two War Poems

Editor's Note: The following two poems were written prior to the end of the recent war in Iraq. They are reproduced here in anticipation of the next war.

No Business Like Show Business

It’s exciting,
Intoxicating -
The spilling thrill of running battle;
Massing tanks, jet fighters swooping,
Crouching troops, machine-gun rattle.
The reporter breathlessly
Surveys the scene,
Describes what’s happening
For folks at home.
One day he’ll write of where he’s been
In solemn, suitably reverent tones.

Twenty thousand miles away
I’m tossing up between The Simpsons
And the footage from a war
Our media
Are paying for.


Freedom’s Harvest

Twelve year old girl with a dirty mess
Of shattered bone, red flapping flesh
Hanging where a foot was once attached;
The shock and awe of liberation.
Democratic amputation.

Slippery piles of stomach mixed
With bits of brain, burnt skin and blood -
The marketplace an abattoir after flood;
The shock and awe of liberation.
Democratic amputation.

Here’s a head next to a leg
And there’s a body missing both
Pumping blood from gaping stumps;
The shock and awe of liberation.
Democratic amputation.


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