Poet’s Corner: Veterans Day

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By Brigitte Lent

Looking out over one of those vast

Burial fields of fallen soldiers, I wonder

How many graves of warriors are there

all over the world? How many dreams

for lives cut short by this ancient

scourge of mankind are buried here?

Decaying in the moist earth along with the bodies

of the young men who never got to fulfill them?

No matter whether their cause was good or bad —

And out of sight, the graves of the civilians,

whom we like to call “collateral damage,”

are seldom recollected when the bugles are blown

and the politicians give uplifting commemorative speeches.

But probably it has always been like that.

Maybe from far out in the Universe,

A mournful God looks on and shakes his head.

Brigitte Lent writes, “I was born in the great year 1933 in Germany; got a good eye- and earful of Nazism and the war; came to the U.S.; had a ball translating all sorts of stuff for the late Department of State; got tired and came here expecting peace, but found it’s not all that different: still the same old world. Can you stop it so I can get off?”