What is War?

By Dave Hood

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
― Plato

As a boy, you learn in school
that War is an atomic bomb
dropped from a plane,
High in the sky,
annihilating a city
Filled with thousands of innocent
women, children, elderly.

As an adult,you purchase a ticket
to see a Hollywood film,
that makes a social commentary
on war,
You learn that its a vengeful act
carried out by fearful men
with weapons,
who fight to survive
in the setting of hell.
They are soldiers who must kill
or be killed.
Most are glamorized as heroes.

Whenever there’s a war,
You watch news reports on television,
become a witness, learn how
War is legalized murder,
men using a pistol, rifle, knife,
bayonet, grenade.
You learn how men descend into
barbarism, hand-to-hand combat,
punching, scratching, biting, gouging
eyes out, slitting throats.
You see the artillery shell exploding,
maiming, dismembering, disemboweling,
decapitating, annihilating.

War becomes a dead body,
a corpse rotting in the sunshine,
a decaying hand with a wedding ring,
a boot with a foot,
a human skull in a field.
You think: The dead are Forgotten,
begin to believe that war is senseless.

One sunny day, you are shocked,
in disbelief
as you watch television,
a terrorist hijacking,
crazy people steering a commercial plane,
into the side of an office building,
obliterating, vaporizing, cremating
the innocent. You think: for the first time
War has victimed urban America.

Years pass, you read about
the drone,
an unmanned weapon
of mass destruction,
flying like a spy plane,
firing missiles,
intended to annihilate men
with long beards
living in some obscure place,
like on the side of a mountain
in Third World Afghanistan.
There’s collateral damage,
death of countless innocent.

You conclude:
War is lunacy, insanity,
the madness of humankind.

About Dave Hood

Lover of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Professional photographer and writer. Without the arts, life would be rather mundane, like a walk down the same old path on a dull day.
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