The original of this poem was written during the Vietnam War. It fell under my pen again tonight for a touch-up, as fresh as ever.

the army came home,
to parade on the soft graves
of the war dead.
the general faced the orphan child
with his little folded flag
and had nothing to say.
the universe stopped
while something that called itself god
pondered the full implications of his beliefs.
in January, a fresh-baked doughnut
crystallizes in the cold air
before you can finish eating it.
the stringy-haired girl who told me
“just pray and God will grant your wishes”
made me laugh as I thought
of my stepfather eaten by oversized rats.
does the great eagle know
that its eggs will not hatch?
yes we will over your dead body.


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