OTHER PEOPLE'S CHAINS

I should have seen it coming,
death glory as a way of life.
I didn’t see it coming because
it was hidden in the nasty air
I have to breathe, the wisdom
of emissions control far too lumpy.

It was hidden by my daily bread
and my ego’s tortured hero,
and by obvious lies I told myself.

I didn’t see it coming because
I was cultured up to fit the means
to freedom with other people’s chains.
I was sleepy enough to believe it.

But the military vision is upon us now,
raging in the veins of saints to be,
and we can plot death’s glory out in rows,
as if the smoke of war unites us;
we can mark the dead man’s courage
with flowers bleeding across the casket;
we can prey on his father’s nightmares;
and we can try to remember his face
when the big guns salute his absence.