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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Summer of '67

How long does it take,
I wonder,
for a war to become
a tourist attraction?
What’s the rotation time,
I ponder,
for foxholes to fill in,

The only war that matters
is the one you fought in.
All warriors know this.
So many wars,
yet only one was the worst.
It’s the one you fought in.
Because it happened to you.

That year I went to war,
all thrumming energy,
rising above the cacophony,
struggling beneath the fear,
wishing mightily to be invisible,
knowing I had put myself there,
the trace elements of ego
so visible in God’s microscope.

For a little while,
I died that day long ago,
thought I was going home,
no sadness, no fear,
no swell of clinging to what’s here.
Day and night,
the bombs cast their light,
yet from tunnel bright
a chiming bell,
calling my return to
the work undone.

Time enough remained
for service and, more,
for pain, guilt, lessons
still to master, before
this life’s final peace
brings an end to war.

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