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War, war … and in the news, so much talk of war : the US still in Afghanistan, Iraq, war planes to Ukraine, drones to innumerable countries, troops to Africa …

This poem I wrote in the late 1980s, when the specters of the US’ (not-so-) covert wars wafted through the news and our lives. Lately I have found myself once more singing this lament, this memory ….

WHEN WE GREW UP

L_caputoby Lorraine Caputo28 Jul 2014

Walking down the aisles

Aimlessly

Glancing at the jacks

plastic soldiers

cap guns

Remembering when I was young

boys had their toys and girls had theirs

I picked up a rubber ball

Rainbow on white

Bounced it on the concrete floor

caught it with senseless fingers

Bounce

Catch

Bounce

Catch

Flex the wrist, Sing a song

When we grew up

We were at war

When we grew up

We were at war

My hand went limp

Dropped the rubber ball into its bin

The rainbow dimmed

My senseless fingers rubbing tired eyes

When we grew up

We were at war

When we grew up

We were at war …

That senseless war of our childhood

Ended as our youth ended

The embers of senseless wars

Smoldering as our youth smolders

… When we were grown up

We were at war

When we were grown up

We were at war …

published in:

Thirteenth Hour: Collected Poetry Readings, 1988-1989 (Columbia,Missouri: Twin Tails, 1990)