Sulfuric smoke rises now
From Black Cats and sparklers,
Instead of the dragon-maws
Of the roaring black cannons.
The charred flesh smell rising
Now prevalent among the neighbors,
Is a barbecue roasting ribs,
Instead of people who fall dead
Lying on broken bayonets
And forgotten dreams of home.
The cries of war come not now
From great generals and officers,
But from children in the yard
Pretending to be British or Yank,
Or another glorious part of history.
The marching songs of old
Arise once more to fill the mouths,
Of father and mother patriot
Gathered around a table of food,
And not around a campfire
In the cold chill of Delaware morn.
The blessings and prayers
Come as gratitude for the past,
Instead of the plea with God
That a soldier makes for the future.