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Battle Cry

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The war goes on

I know war from

Reading

All Quiet on the Western Front

Johnny Got His Gun

The Red Badge of Courage

Funny war in

Catch-22

Romantic war in

Anything by Alistair MacLean

And

The Lord of the Rings

I’ve seen videos of

Hiroshima,

And I see images of Ukraine

All of which means

I don’t know anything about war

I don’t know the ripping pain

Of bullets

The sounds from

Many explosions

The sounds of people

Wounded

And the dying

All in states of dying

Mortal life leaving the body

Violent upheaval into judgment

All out of place

Before its time

An outrage of angels

Crying from all sides

The risen and the fallen

I hear stories

Read them

Hear them

Imagine them

And let them in

It’s not the real thing

But it’s something

Enough to think and feel

And cry against

And I have perspective

While those who call for war

Haven’t any

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C L Couch

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Photo by British Library on Unsplash

1914, World War 1. Highland Territorials in a trench. Photographer: H. D. Girdwood.

La Gorgue, France

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