hypocrisy in five stages

June 6, 2017


Life offers you a gun in 1914
with the first shots of the war
because there are people whispering
in the streets
about pointless things miles away
and you wonder how one gun
could lead to thousands more
and how foolish it would be
to start a war because of it
fear, is what keeps you from the gun


The second time the gun is different
quick and deadly
‘maxim, with a 600 rpm’ the poster says
but you know it also comes with trenches
blood and wounded soldiers
and you think of how inane it is
to sacrifice millions of people
for the pride of one


The third time becomes repetitive
and by then you’ve learned to deal
with the murmurs about prisoners of the war
poison gases
chambers where hundreds walk in
and hundreds are carried out
death, you think to yourself
is not worth the wrath of one nation
but talk of war is almost as suffocating
as your impression of the mustard


By the fourth time you realize
that the talking has traveled
to the people beside you
the broadcasts on tv
and that you may not be as safe
or detached
as you think
because there are rumors
of inevitable bloodshed
you can’t comprehend
and when life offers again you decline
but not without hesitation


The fifth time
the gun comes with
a sunken battleship
128 of your own dead
a threat from someone
that you’ve never met before
and a bout of anger so fierce
it turns your vision blood red
war is not inevitable
but war will come to you
blame it on the nationalism, you tell yourself

  you take the gun.

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