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Winds whistled through frozen woods Warmth radiated in a New England Chalet Comfort from winters' chilling cold Distant voice disrupted the silence, a broadcaster's monotone proclaimed "Missiles fired..." "War in progress..." The words seemed surreal in the Currier and Ives setting, when walls had fallen, democracy seemed inevitable, war unspeakable, Unburying ourselves from devastation, decades of bloodshed, recurring nightmares,broken bodies, shattered minds, War was a wound healing Retired Generals rallied support like coaches at half-time We were told to cheer our team, the patriotic duty of a true American Front page proclaimed the first casualty, a wounded civilian bleeding in newsprint with the morning coffee I looked up to see the innocence of a child's face marred by confusion and worry A small voice in a pathetic tone asked, "Why Daddy?" A lump gelled in my throat with the realization that all the hopes and dreams of raising children in a world without war had shattered before my eyes
This poem first appeared in a slightly different version in the San Fernando Poetry Journal in 1991.A full decade later we are once again facing the prospect of war.The lyrics of a song from the 1960's came to my mind when I reread this poem,in light of the current headlines, "When will we ever learn..."
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