Poem about the Futility of war
Posted by sadeepa palliyaguru on August 31, 2007
As the citizens of a war torn country we have no option rather than living with the war. The trauma , pain and suffering of war has become a part of our life. We are becoming less sensitive to war. I feel that most sri lankans are not moved by the daily killings taking place in the country. It’s ironical that the Sinhalese people massacred tamils for the killing of 17 (?) soldiers… Today 10 , 15 would be the average daily death toll. What about the LTTE ? Arnt they our brothers , fellow Sri Lankans dying …
I found this interesting poem about the the war titled “poem from an American war veterans wife : Words Not Spoken, Truths Untold” by Claudia Whitehead McCoy. This poem could be a foreign one , but the experience is universal to each country which is having a conflict.
Words Not Spoken, Truths Untold
My Grandfather never spoke
Of the Great War.
Instead he told of dancing
With French peasant girls.
Sometimes I wanted to dance
With my Grandfather,
But he had left his legs
In a foxhole in Belgium.
My Father never spoke
Of World War II.
Instead he told of
Telling stories around a campfire
Sometimes late at night
A dozen years later,
He would scream and writhe in pain
With the Malaria
He couldn’t leave in the Pacific.
My cousin never spoke
Of the Korean Conflict.
Instead he told
Us how much our letters meant
In that cold forgotten place.
Sometimes I would like to write
To him again, but
The telegram forgot to mention
The zip code for someone killed in action.
My husband never speaks Of Vietnam,
Instead he tells me
How beautiful the flowers were.
Sometimes in July
When fireworks crack and sparkle
He cowers in a closet,
Holding his head
And calling out,”Incoming! Incoming!”
Do I speak to my children
Of wars gone and those yet to be?
I can’t begin to know
The horror or the exhilaration.
I’ve never been there.
But sometimes I tell them
Of Peace and the price
That some have paid
For this illusive gift.
And if I never spoke
How would they understand
About honor, courage and patriotism?
But sometimes I have to tell them
About greed, power and carelessness.
Because war isn’t always what it’s said to be,
And God isn’t always on our side.
Claudia Whitehead McCoy
THanks goes to Gehan for sharing this poem with us!