What Good is War?
Good for killing young men
those primed to enter society,
pumped full of knowledge,
eager to make a difference,
then plunged head first in a ditch
to stare blankly across the open plain
past the wire at men just like them,
only speaking in a different tongue.
Good for creating rubble by the ton
as the bombs fall in towns
long emptied of their inhabitants
yet filled with men sent
only to kill and create more
rubble in a mirror town
across the line.
Good for filling the bellies
of survivors, for when one man
falls, his brothers that live
share the spoils of his absence.
Good for creating quick inheritance,
for the man with only one leg
no longer needs two boots, but his
comrade on the line can use them well...
until he too become separated from leg...or life.
Good for training men to march
in lines neat and organized,
the better to be forgotten when
charging helter skelter over
"no man's land."
Good for brewing despair overnight,
causing fresh young minds to
turn to madness and run blindly
toward death rather than stay
still and hope for salvation.
Good for warping time, making
every day seem as a year,
every night as a century.
Good for learning to kill or be killed.
Good for forgetting home and family.
Good for settling disputes of men
who never picked up a gun or
set foot on the field of battle.
Good for dying.
Copyright © 2015 Jonathan Ytreberg