When others drove with their headlights on
and tied yellow ribbons onto trees
we wore black and walked to school.
When torches lit, and oil fields burned
when flames rose into Iraqi skies
we came together, voices shouting
“No bombs, no blood for oil!”
In 1990 war was easy to oppose.
We knew they burned cities into skeletons.
left human bodies black and charred
Broken-backed buildings, seared hot as the sun
Hurricane winds stole breath.
When the bombs thundered down
louder than all reason,
they left streets like tombs, covered in ash.
What monsters they, we said.
The day was warm,
the grass was innocent green.
Clear skies turned black and white with smoke
Planes became guided missiles, bringing death.
The news showed tumbling bodies
Blood on the pavement in our shining city.
Darkness spread across the earth as the towers fell.
A nation cried out for revenge
A million throats screamed raw
Blood for blood, death for death
Good people threw down banners and enlisted
Kings and princes stoked the flames of war.
And the smoke got in our eyes, we could not see.
A carnivorous beast had swallowed us whole
We were consumed.
A long time later
The shame of our hate would haunt us.
War left us bereft, we saw too late.
There was blood on our hands.
We came to know this, to understand
after the hundred thousandth drop of rain
soaked the soil of our victims’ graves.