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A REFUGE FOR POETS WHO WRITE IN THE LYRIC TRADITION,

WITH RHYME AND METER, WITH OR WITHOUT MUSIC




BEFORE ID GO TO WAR

Before Id go to war
I would ask myself: what for?
Could I easily explain
What exactly would be gained?
Could I say its worth the price
Of a single human life
To a grieving gold star mother
Or a sole surviving brother?

Before Id go to war
To be fought on foreign shores
Where others pay the cost
I would ask: what would be lost?
What stands to be destroyed
By the weapons we deploy?
Do we cast so many stones
Because their cultures not our own?

Before Id go to war
I would ask: how would it end?
If the forces that we send
Win the war, what happens then?
In the wake of our crusade
Would the hatred never fade?
When we see what we have done,
Is it peace we will have won?

We have been through wars before,
And yet we always fight one more,
With peace as the intention
Of our hostile intervention.
How can peace be brought by war
When it never has before?
I would ask these things and more
Before Id go to war.

Tijeras, New Mexico, 1991



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