i don't know [anything] about war

Typewriter5by Dryden16 Feb 2021

i can take a stand on knowing
like soldiers on a numbered hill
i can go over the top on what i believe
but even an imagination exploding with
limb-littered trenches – engorged rats
soldiers shrieking…bayonets stuck between their ribs
horses hung up in trees and melted over branches
like a Salvador Dali scene
(the truth is shrapnel sticking in my convictions)
i don’t know the
first thing about war

i have read about PTSD
seen blown-out tanks and villages and cities on the news
read war novels that tell me war is hell but
i don’t know
anything about war
i’ve been fascinated and horrified by documentaries
and movies
mostly movies…

Schindler’s List
Saving Private Ryan
Full Metal Jacket
To End All Wars

but i still know nothing about war
i remember the Gulf War (August 2, 1990 to February 28, 1991) saw parts of it live on tv
heard people say it looks like a video game
(especially the night shots: green flashes flying at some enemy)
i marched – i mean, walked
in protest against that war with others
on a peace walk from here to there
yet i don’t know anything about war
i once thought i did - talked about it and against it like i knew
even now i say Jesus and Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
and that i don’t believe in war

i hope i know something about peace but when
people talk about war - that thing
i know nothing about
i just want to
bug out
withdraw
fall back
retreat

i know what the words mean but
i don’t know [anything] about war