Monday, March 29, 2010

The Myth Makers

This is a little bit of the story of why I joined the military, which was the topic we Warrior Writers in Chicago decided to get into last time we met.

The myth makers do their work in the bright light of day like
Thieves creeping about in the darkness of our development
To rob us of our ability to question and
They show up in schools and cartoons and books and on waves that fly invisibly
Across the air and into our skin to tell us
Things that eventually make us want to kill

The myth makers stand us in groups as 6-year-old children
Who don’t know what “allegiance” means and make us pledge it
To a flag worthy and deserving of a proper burial while telling us
Our human classmates sometimes deserve a good punch in the nose
Instead of being taught

The myth makers are sure there is never enough time in the school year
To learn about our fathers’ war in Vietnam and
Only half the story of our grandfathers’ war in Europe and Japan
And not about the screams and why our fathers never want to talk
About their war in Vietnam and our grandfathers remain
Silent on their war in Europe and Japan

I wish I had listened more closely to my silent grandfather

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