Memorial Day Contemplation the Day After

Memorial Day, we honor soldiers who have fought and died.
The Generals and Politicians, standing side by side,
Give speeches praising those who made the final sacrifice.
But rarely do they ask if what we got was worth their price.

Especially those who survived with unhealed wounds of war:
The lame, the halt, the maimed, the mad, they’ll not be as before.
We sent them to Afghanistan; we sent them to Iraq.
Like their dead brothers, these we sent to fight did not come back.

We see their spirits as they try again to walk and talk.
The smallest children, when they see them, cry, or point and gawk
At missing limbs, at missing eyes, at burns with grafted skin.
Is what we got worth what we did to any of these men?

So, wave the flag and sing the songs. Of course, strike up the band.
Sometimes we know we have to fight to save this precious land.
But when our fighting buys us nothing but the maimed and dead,
Perhaps should we consider doing something else instead?

Ask, are we fighting for our land or Middle Eastern oil?
Who benefits when both sides bring emotions to a boil?
We cannot make them be like us, nor will we be like them.
Who benefits? Is this worth even one more requiem?