Cartilage and Steel
(Children of Iraq)
Youth, soft in their cartilage,
sleep beside Kalashnikovs;
escapees of consciousness
and bloody killing fields.
Daylight bursts blade sharp,
and lunges for the shadows
where innocent children hide.
It calls them, name by name,
Each day, fewer answer.
Of the People and For the People
Once we looked upon a wizened face
And recognized your likeness.
Borne of strife and purpose driven
You stood stalwartly beside your peers;
In solidarity there was recognition
Of the courage of the common man.
Ripped open from the wounds of war,
Revolution’s volley birthed your voice;
Screaming cannon of our constitution,
You have always roared for liberty.
One by one we crossed the waves,
Laid down our lives for you to live.
From silent tombs of earth and sod,
We cry and whisper so you will hear.
American sons and daughters
soon will gather
around their Christmas trees
and will open "your" presents:
Shirts and socks
in matching camouflage,
guns and ammunition,
and smallpox vaccinations.
gas masks and magazines,
flights to the Middle East
and desert excursions.
For all these unexpected gifts,
they will uniformly say,
"Thank you, Mr. Grinch,
you really made our day."