March 19, 2003

March nineteenth two thousand and three, 

-twenty years ago today- 

the world looked on in utter dismay 

as America displayed shock and awe 

and awe and shock 

and the stock market climbed as high 

as the bombs before they fell 

from the Iraqi sky 

but too few did what we would have others do 

if we were attacked out of the blue 

too few demanded to know why 

as an oil man told lie after lie 

after lie after lie after lie 

and do you cry for all the dead 

the known and the unknown 

and the known unknown 

and the unknown known 

killed by a bullet or an unmanned drone 

do you cry for all the collateral damage 

we’ll never have to atone for 

America doesn’t run on Dunkin 

it’s always run on recruiters 

funneling the poor into war 

after war after war after war. 

And the door of the Blackhawk was open yesterday 

and children got to climb in and out and play pretend soldier

as the Hawaii army national guard recruiters looked on 

standing on the lawn behind Lanikeha 

during the Molokai resource fair 

and, teary-eyed, I wondered where “over there” will be 

in twenty thirty-three, 

will Hawaiians still be 

fighting in America’s wars 

or will this occupied nation, 

at long last, be free? 

Will babies grow up to be children

playing with toy tractors and toy pickaxes 

and toy shovels and toy garden hoes and toy o’os 

or will they keep on 

keep on 

keep on playing with toy guns 

destined to wear a soldiers clothes 

instead of spending their days where the trade winds blow 

tending the garden where freedom grows 

living a life where they’ll never have to go 

on tour after tour after tour

wondering, what for? 

risking their sanity and their lives 

fighting yet another illegal war.


Jayson Mizula


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