Kill or be killed the war makers insist,
but do they risk their flesh behind a desk?
Real warriors go one on one, they spar,
and if they lose a leg, both legs, they live
with that. Live on. Alone. Unsung. Only
to these young, these brave, will I bow down,
I who was born the daughter of my mother.
She's smarter than my father, that CEO
of industry's biggest biz-killing, that is.
His cowards sit at screens, martinis in hand,
and half the earth away send up an unmanned
drone. (Though who's unmanned?) More drones
must fly to battle and wear out, else there
would be no need for moreand without sales,
how will Daddy prosper? And sales prop
an economy built on arms. How's my girl,
he asks, calls me his Iffy, as if he knew me.
He dotes. He wants to buy me
something for my birthday. How about
a drone, I say, a Predator!? That's when he sees
me, Iphigenia. That's when I know that I will die.
Next day I buy a flak jacket, sign up.
Hey Daddy, look: I'm in your infantry!
It was easy doting on his Iffy,
but now I have become the real thing.
Now he has to praise meI'm the news
praise me, the young woman he just may lose.
(A comrade's friendly fire will kill me,
but I've got Daddy's attention, finally.)
He didn't know he loved me. Now he does,
he who'd made himself impervious.
(When I die, of course, my mom will kill him.)
To sacrifice one's own sweet life is honor
few would choose, but I will go among
the ones who do: grunt vets who live on drips,
legs gone, arms gone, and those whose minds won't work
but who still feel. For them I put on black
and walk the ward. This one's a warrior:
one leg gone. The other foot hangs down.
I kneel and wash the only foot he's got
(we two one being), as though it's mine.
Now I need nothing. Already I'm shining.