Tears to Pay

What matters if we stop these bells,
—the toll and knell of guns and bombs,
the monstrous groan of metal wheels
the murmur of a boy gurgling on hope
before his breath is smothered out,
if we cannot quench the thirst of bureaucracy?

No body count will do for them
what neatly folded flag and flowers can
when mere youth is cast off to bloody war.

No, the bodies lie just as they are meant—
to coat and oil the tracks of greed,
to feed the machine that only leads to death.

The clatter of metallic rapid fire
has nothing on the cost of this:
our lives the fodder of the rich.

The poor go off to the old heroic war,
—always have, stoic in their rugged deaths,
stoic in their simple cut for the day,
with wages to pay the undertaker
and tears to pay the debt collector.

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