fighting the war of one
by john sweet

          standing still at
          the edge of this field

          at the edge of this day
          while the shadows of planes
          slip through my fingers

          while de chirico's ghost
          pulls pollock's body
          from the wreckage

          what i'm offering you
          is spring

          pale sunlight
          on nameless towns

          white houses placed
          dramatically against brown lawns
          and the soft warm sound
          of decay

          and do you remember
          the last war?

          how many dead need to be
          before a victory is declared?

          i am thinking here
          of a man who told me
          fifteen years ago that i
          was a coward

          who was right but
          not for the reasons he
          thought he should be and this
          i guess
          is his poem

          there is always some
          small amount of courage
          in just refusing
          to crawl

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