Father, Father, 2003

When all the wars are over,
after countless men have died—
when countless kids have shed their tears,
after endless mother’s cries.

When the rifles and the flags,
are in a dresser, locked away,
with shotgun shells, and purple hearts,
what will father say?

When the flag comes down in rags,
and roses line the graves—
will we sleep the peaceful sleep,
our debt to father paid?

Father likes to fuss,
and argue with himself—
about religion, politics,
philosophy, what else?
Then he sends his kids to fight,
or else they get the belt.

Father likes to fight,
and drink and womanize.
What does father know of truth,
when his kids defend his lies?

What matters if he tells the truth,
when his children fight his fights?
Proud father gives them shiny toys,
if they listen and play right.

The kids are brave,
and have to be;
father can’t defend himself.
And who on Earth would father call,
if his children smelled his breath?

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