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A REFUGE FOR POETS WHO WRITE IN THE LYRIC TRADITION,

WITH RHYME AND METER, WITH OR WITHOUT MUSIC




IF YOU REGISTER FOR WAR

If you register for war
Because there is no draft in store,
What will you do if there should be one?
Will you recognize
An act to authorize
Involuntary servitude if you see one?
Will you let your sons and brothers,
Your husbands and your lovers
Kill or be killed on foreign shores?
How long has it been
Since our women and our men
Have believed it was a necessary war?

With foreign states in need
Of irrigation, grain and seed,
Why must we rattle sabers as a threat?
If we embargo foreign lands,
Are they not driven to the hands
Of the sometimes much more helpful Soviets?
Should we rely on this excuse
And CIA troops as a ruse
For covert intervention in a war?
Should the old men have the right
To send unwilling boys to fight
When we canít deny our presence any more?

History has told us
Every weapon they have sold us
Has been used, no matter if this is denied.
Shall we make more bombs in haste
And be burdened with the waste
Until all we are protecting shall have died?
Should two men decide for all
If the atom bombs should fall
And bring about the war to end all wars?
Itís in the name of me and you.
Are we proud of what we do?
Or is this why we donít declare our wars?

Eugene, Oregon, 1985



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