Cost of War

Penny for you thought
Nickel for your soul
The band is tuning the instruments
Bass drum banging, boom boom boom
Our saxophonist refuses to repent
For touching the violinist
When alone in the practice room
They are practicing patriotic melodies
Star Spangle Banner
America the Beautiful
God Save the Queen?
Such madness this must be a dream
Or to the aware
A nightmare
At half time the band marches forth
As one we rise to stand
To salute Old Glory for all it’s worth
The land of the free!
Remember the Maine and all that pain
But forget Wounded Knee
To Hell with Nat Turner and don’t examine slavery
Don’t dare whisper out the Liberty
Damn the British!
Damn the Spanish!
Damn the Mexicans!
Damn the Indians!
Damn the Kaiser!
Damn the Japs!
Dams those Nazis
Damn them Reds (of Russian, Cuban, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese variety)
Damn the Arabs!
Damn the entire world except for me!
They just hate our liberty
Damn supposed to forget that ship
And I let it slip
All the same
Ask Mister Palmer
Ask Mister McGovern
Ask Mister Hoover

Well half time is done
We’ll continue the game
We’re never to blame
We deserve no shame
That’s the story
Ain’t no mystery
Winner writes the history
And takes the glory

Penny for your thought
Nickel for your soul
A rat’s ass for a poor boy’s life
It’s his patriotic duty to kill and die
And for the sake of your defense
They require silence
And never, never ask why

John Kaniecki in an author and poet. He has nine books published (see his Amazon page). You can visit John's website and his blog. John's poem Tea With Joe Hill won the Joe Hill Labor Poetry Prize. His work has been published in over seventy outlets. Read other articles by John.