My Grandfather never spoke Of the Great War. Instead he told of dancing With French peasant girls. Sometimes I wanted to dance With my Grandfather, But he had left his legs In a foxhole in Belgium.
My Father never spoke Of World War II. Instead he told of Telling stories around a campfire On Guadalcanal. Sometimes late at night A dozen years later, He would scream and writhe in pain With the Malaria He couldn't leave in the Pacific.
My cousin never spoke Of the Korean Conflict. Instead he told Us how much our letters meant In that cold forgotten place. Sometimes I would like to write To him again, but The telegram forgot to mention The zip code for someone killed in action.
My husband never speaks Of Vietnam, Instead he tells me How beautiful the flowers were. Sometimes in July When fireworks crack and sparkle He cowers in a closet, Holding his head And calling out,"Incoming! Incoming!"
Do I speak to my children Of wars gone and those yet to be? I can't begin to know The horror or the exhileration. I've never been there. But sometimes I tell them Of Peace and the price That some have paid For this illusive gift.
And if I never spoke Of war? How would they understand About honor, courage and patriotism? But sometimes I have to tell them About greed, power and carlessness. Because war isn't always what it's said to be, And God isn't always on our side.