The air is dark with approaching death
And I hear it in the silence
Of forgetting and forgetting and forgetting
Wars, past and present.
Televisions and movie theatres
Add to the dull hum of silence
The sound we all make as we ignore
That which we thought we left behind.
It was not left to burn in fallen Troy
We did not leave it at Thermopylae
At Jerusalem’s gates
Or Rome’s hills.
We did not leave it in the dust of Carthage
At the yurt flaps of Khan
Or the bottom of The Channel
Gorged with the husks of ships
And the fragments of men.
We did not leave it on Abraham’s plains
The bloodthirsty dirt of Gettysburg
Or the long road back from Moscow.
We did not leave it at the door of the Bastille
The fields of Somme and Passchendaele
The skies over Britain
Or the waves in the harbor of pearls.
We did not leave it at Berlin’s feet
Or in the husks of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
It does not wander alone in Korea’s no man’s land
It does not lie dormant in the jungles of Vietnam
Or the killing fields of Cambodia
It is not broken as Yugoslavia
It has not sounded its death knell in Rwanda
It does not lie dead in the deserts of Iraq
Or exposed on the hills of Afghanistan
It is not gasping for breath in Sudan
Or falling into a coma in Somalia
It lives and breathes forgotten
Like a crawling parasite
Behind the eyes
Burdening the mind of humanity
We forget and forget and forget
That war is not left on the battlefield
War remains with us
And in us
War is in our souls