JOHNSON’S WAR


‘This is not a jungle war but a struggle for freedom on every front of human activity.’

Lyndon B. Johnson, US President, 1963-1969

 

From the silent village on Hill 192,

a girl is torn by soldiers into

darkness and raped many times: discarded,

dead, with Coke cans and expensive shell cases.

All but one of the men shake the landscape

with her screams. Imagining her horror,

its hugeness, knowing its fear, he suffers,

saves it for somewhere of tomorrows,

legality – and vilification.

Though, in the discarded subways of home,

girls are held open and torn, in the quiet

counties of peace, sisters, mothers

of poor, murdering boys know instant

righteousness.

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