War From the Bleachers

They invited some older folks to watch a war.
We sat uncomfortably on slat, wooden seats.
The noise was bearable off in the distance,
But a smell of body parts and putrid ammo,
Wrapping around us like unwanted caresses.

A soldier, dark-faced from the field visited his mother.
“Spit on this tissue,” she said, as mothers do.
And wiped him hard,  he still was not clean.

We saw troops advancing and some tossed around,
Flying up and falling, forgotten in the rush.
There were “casual—ties”,
A terrible word for humans,
In pain and plainly dying.

The litters were carried quickly out of sight,
But we saw them, endless, a military parade.

We had expected to see medals presented,
Meted out by officers in dress uniforms.
We didn’t expect such an ugly show.
It was free for us, didn’t cost a cent,
But it was no fun and no refreshments.

Still, you must all come to the war,
It’s the ultimate athletic contest,
Some seem to enjoy it.
Not the players we saw.

About Jay R. Strisik

Born in Brooklyn 83 years ago (but people say I look weeks younger). I am one of those lucky older Earthlings who retains most of my physical and mental abilities, at least for the rest of the month. I started writing in high school, stopped and started many times. I have completed about five or six book length novels and non-fiction. The last few years I have also written about seventy poems, and about thirty-five short stories. I self-publish for my friends who then become enemies. I credit my current burst of activity to the East Valley Writers Group, we meet Sunday nights at Borders in Mesa I have published a few short stories in obscure places.. My undergraduate life was at New York University, interrupted by WWII (the world is often rude). I spent four years in the Air Force then back to college at Ramapo, finally mastering in Social Work at Columbia University. I worked for over twenty years in the family business, a rope and twine distributor, then into social work. My degree is in industrial social work and I have lectured to several thousand folks on job finding techniques. My wife Georgia lets me live with her in Gilbert, AZ. We have two married children and three grands. We attend meetings of the humanists from time to time, but are not into organized anything. This is too long and keeping me from my computer.....bye.

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