By John Popielaski


I pay my small share for a war

and am protected from the mountain dwellers,

sons and grandsons of the mountain dwellers

that my father’s small share helped to fund

when they were neck deep in another war

and I thought nothing of the shoulder rockets

fired with American precision

at exploding aircraft on the evening news.

But I won’t wear signs of troop support

and won’t affix magnetic images

of yellow ribbons to my tailgate

because I would withhold the war tax

if I could and suffer now and then

the criticism of the patriot,

vociferous and barbed at times

I would prefer a lull, a little peace.


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