My grandpa got a Purple Heart in World War II, He told me war stories growing up, The bunkers, those long island nights- My eyes lit up guerrilla warfare Storming the Axis to save the world From poor tyrannical warlord Hitler and the bad guys, I think I was five. In 1994 the US declared war When I was eight. It was a bad idea, I thought- But what do I know, I’m only a kid, And America was king. I’d heard of the Vietnam War, That was just a big mistake. We’d made our amends, Withdrawn our troops, And the world moved on- I was a kid, Young and impressionable- I didn’t know what was going on When I heard words like Bosnia And a long country starting with H- I do remember Desert Storm, What a great name! W O W Those stealth bomber planes! Warfare had always been romantic, Good guys saving the day, Born American, it’s how I was raised. I remember sitting in English class, One wet September morning, Sophomore high at the time I Couldn’t believe my eyes- New York in flames, I cried on that day- Young and rebellious, My beloved America Soon changed her ways- What I heard next would soon change our fate America declared war on a Noun- T E R R O R I S M American roots, suburban educated War on a Word, it made no sense- We can’t beat an enemy we can’t see, define I thought- We can’t conquer an enemy we don’t know, understand I thought, H E L L Even I’ve read the Art of War, And, my! Our judgment seems poor. The wars raged on, We left troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, The Middle East, Africa, China, Spies everywhere, People everywhere, Terror everywhere, We say, They say We argue, Left and Right! Left and Right! It doesn’t matter! There are more than two answers! We murder two terrorist leaders, I look up the definition of terrorism- ‘The use of violence and intimidation In the pursuit of political aims’ Now I’m twenty eight and My, the times have changed. A man named Manning on trial, A man named Zimmerman walks free, And why sir!? Why!? Ask and you’ll receive no answer. Extend your hand they hand you cancer- No food, no shelter, No love in these streets- Years rage on, Fashion comes and goes, Music comes and goes, Lovers come and go, And still our troops remain- Why! What misery! How horrible it must be, For these poor women at home, Their husbands overseas, Fighting an enemy we can’t see, Assaulting a word we can’t define, Changing our minds every day, Nothing but exhausting resources, Political repercussions great, All I’m left thinking is, What if our President was eight?