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Life Arts    H4'ed 5/9/21

War, the National Pastime

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Manet painting discovered in the vault at Merkers, Germany, 1945.
Manet painting discovered in the vault at Merkers, Germany, 1945.
(Image by Julius.jaa)
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There are odd sayings that clothes make the man,
And empires are lost in the dust of Afghan',
Though if you look close you can see what was lost
Is what could be called opportunity cost:
Investment in Kabul instead of Kentuck',
Where lots of good people are down on their luck.
Down on their luck and quite willing to pardon
A defeat in Afghan' if it means a garden
Of their own to hoe and a job that pays bills,
And sometimes attention to life's aches and ills.
It might calm the shame of the army's defeat
If it could be met in a house with some heat.
Yet lest our mighty Ruling Classes do fret
That shame will result in a nation upset,
I urge them to on the bright side consider
That the war has hardly been but a glitter,
A news brief, a blurb, blip sandwiched between
Kim K's divorces and the need for vaccine.
Nor need they fret deep that it's 'Nam 2.0,
Since there hasn't been much as far as I know
Of protest, pain, country-wide angst, despair,
Nor wistful speeches asking why we were there.
No, the country's taken Afghan' in its stride
Plenty complacent with the thought that we tried.
Anyone remember the Second World War?
Now there was a tussle with stories and lore:
If you needed to slip through enemy lines,
Why, you just changed your hat and took the name Kleins.
The bad guys were creeps and aggressors to boot,
Bombing Old Blighty, swiping Paris art loot.
Although fought by all as a national quest,
Now war's a pastime or a sideshow at best,
Fallen as it has from defense of democ',
To reasons for feeding the Pentagon's flock,
And woe is the country of which it falls 'foul,
'Cause 'round here, win or lose, nobody will howl.

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For recitations of my poems, go to my website: http://www.philipkraske.com/kraske-fiction/

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