combat writing badge C O M B A T
the Literary Expression of Battlefield Touchstones
ISSN 1542-1546 Volume 03 Number 01 Winter ©Jan 2005

We Must Save Face

      A milestone of flesh and blood
      Too late for turning back
      Pretending to fight
      For the greater good
      After all, we must save face

      Many unanswered questions
      Buried beneath graves of silence
      We're the watchdogs of the world
      But can you clarify
      Just one more time
      Explain the provocation and justification
      While the devastation grows

      Minute by minute, freedom fades
      Slowly slips undercover
      Tell me of the Patriot Act, once again
      Still, we are keepers of the gate
      Rushing through our daily routines
      Barely noticing the body count rise
      Add two more: my brother, your son

      It hurts to see the light
      The dense smokescreen billows
      And truth is lost in the shadows
      Of rhetorical chatter
      We see what's allowed
      Afraid to dig deeper
      After all, we must save face

      We've become deaf, dumb and blind
      Walk straight to the kill
      Like cattle led into slaughter
      With the blinders secured
      We march unquestioning
      A brain-numb herd
      Into the fire's fury

      What's that you say?
      Unpatriotic and paranoid
      Think what you like
      It's all there, if you'll look
      You go on ahead
      Walk the muddied path
      Thickened with the blood
      Of my brother and your son
      After all, we must save face

by Charlene Howard
... who is a floral designer, and was inspired to write poetry after the death of a friend; her work has appeared previously in this magazine.