Saturday, June 1, 2002

Gulf War Villanelle

Written in 1991, appearing in a now radically defunct periodical,
is this poem now dated, irrelevant? I wish . . . .

Mr. Bush must speak our truth.
We take his word (into our mouth)
But is our mood old doom of youth?

Camouflage is not uncouth:
Earthy colors fit for death.
I dare them all to speak the truth:

Fragile flesh beneath the cloth
Trembles like a flame-caught moth.
Our mood is old doom of youth.

Patriots fly up from the south
Blocking scuds from raining death.
We let our missiles speak our truth.

Today our masks are not of cloth.
But faces, alien, save our breath
From gas, our blood from froth.

The Gulf is black, as are sky & earth
and flesh in trashbags, not in cloth.
A moral war! is that our truth?
Or is it just old doom of youth?

Copyright © 2002 by Joseph D. Andriano

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