I could not see the setting sun
But felt the joy of life.
You, with your eyes, did see the gun
As curing human strife.
I could not hear the singing bird
But felt the ocean’s roar.
You, with your ears, heard every word
To cheer you off to war.
I could not walk upon the sand;
With books my heart did soar.
You, with your legs, did chase the band
And marched yourself to gore.
I would not trade this body worn
For one that has no fault
If the perfect one is only born
For mayhem and assault.
My lips don’t talk with prattle;
I reach out to stay your hand.
Heed not the saber rattle
That ripples thru the land.
“Too late,” you say aboard the train
In uniform so neatly pressed.
“The victory we will surely gain
Before my gun is put to rest.”
Your eyes don’t see the horror.
Your ears don’t hear the rain.
Your feet don’t shake with terror,
From your lips no cry of pain.
For the killer and the kill
All wars have been in vain.
The body broken, the breath is still,
As you pass this way again.
This poem was written during the Vietnam era.
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