Amidst the pomp and ceremony
There whispers a voice from the ranks
To battle, to battle,
The hue and cry
Hush, hush, sweet secret
Speak not of lies.
We sent you off to war
For noble causes
To defend and serve
We trained and prodded and tested your nerve.
We championed your departure
Hearts ablaze, flags waving.
During your service we saluted
Blowing kisses, sending care packages
Proudly displaying our bumper stickers,
And talking over counters at grocery stores.
She’s coming home in August,
He’s just been sent overseas.
Yet you returned disheveled, swollen, amputated.
Your rages sneak out at night uncontrolled,
Your glazed eyes became unrecognizable.
Your name and number, once hailed proudly
Are an annoyance to our current financial plan.
And to the regulatory commission of suited bank-rollers
We stuff ourselves with your pain.
After all, your loss is our gain.
Somehow your names did not show up on the list
of people to be treated, You are not included.
We snuffed you out in our waiting-file film noir
Perhaps your info was shredded in some VA forgotten closet
for months and months, while recruiters
search for fresh bodies, fresh boots
To send out again and again,
While losing your secret files, dismissing your case,
Our motive is purely to win the race.