Nancy L. Meek

CAN WE AFFORD TO FORGET?

people say to him, “Forget it, man!
get on with the rest of your life!”
blinded, they just don’t understand
how deep the war has embedded the knife
tis easy for some to say “Forget it!”
when they cannot see past their noses
but one day they will surely regret it
when a greater war around them closes
tis not only the need for closure
which pushes the poet’s pen
but a heartfelt wish that war’s torture
will not be felt by future men
do you think it doesn’t hurt like hell
to recall the whole bloody mess
digging deep and deeper into the well
filled with post traumatic stress
do you think he gets his jollies
from bearing his soul on the page
exposing governments’ follies
as if it will earn him any wage
do you think he wouldn’t like to forget
the horrors and atrocities of war
rid his life of all the after effects
implanted forever in his core
do you think it is comforting to learn
that too many don’t give a damn
do not seem the least bit concerned
that our future will toll another Vietnam
do you think the war was some fairyland
with fake guns, knives and bullets
that the face of that now beautiful land
is not still laced with human skull bits
do you think a grunt would have to lie
to make you understand what war can do
like change the topography, or vaguely imply
what happened over there was not true
do you think it won’t happen again
if we do not seek peace for the human race
keeping our heads in the sand to just pretend
no more wars will our children have to face
do you think it is someone else’s job
to fight for what’s right in a world full of wrong
do you think you won’t stand before God.
if you do, one day you’ll sing a different song

AND WHO WILL DEFEND YOU THEN?

This poem inspired the response, “Letter to a Friend” ~ ©Copyright June 21, 2001 by Anthony W. Pahl