Dulce et Decorum Est...
by DCDave

"Education is what you need to get ahead,
And the money for it will be easy to earn."
That's what the man in the well-pressed uniform said.
Little did I know how much I had to learn,
Like whom I can and whom I cannot trust.
It's knowledge I need to live from one day to the next,
While every pore of my skin is filled with dust,
And the hardened faces around me serve as my text.

Here I am, stuck in a low-grade, high-tension war,
Every minute of every day from now on,
Wondering what in the world we are doing this for
And when they'll decide when we can go home.
One night a month in uniform this is definitely not,
Nor is it two weeks a year playing GI.
That became clear to me the day Horace was shot,
And it took all of two minutes for him to die.

He'd just been telling me how they couldn't make ends meet
On his enlisted man's pay and his wife's job at the Wal-Mart.
Before we even heard a sound, he'd been knocked off his feet,
And big spurts of blood were coming up from his punctured heart.
Soon his lifeless eyes were staring up at the sky,
While we all looked for something to hide behind.

What a way to die!

I wonder if the misled folks at home would mind
If I told them that, though we may do our best,
Here, there can be no glory,
While our rulers would have us believe that dulce et decorum est
Pro Israel mori

David Martin

With apologies to Wilfred Owen.

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