Sunday, May 26, 2013


It is that weekend again when all of TV
is showing movies about war
and the fallout from war.
Documentaries about soldiers and armies
and what happens
to those who go to war
and those who survive,
and those who don't;
those who are left behind to wait,
and those who are just left behind.

It is not the weekend when
Canadians celebrate their war heroes,
nor is it close to the time when we
remember and honour our war dead.
But you cannot live this close
to the most powerful nation
on earth,
and not be affected by the goings-on
below our shared border,
especially as much of the time
we share the same conflicts.

So, here it is Memorial Day weekend
again and all about me
are stories of the body bags
arriving from Afghanistan—still—
even though the Americans are in the
midst of withdrawing their troops,
the same as we are.
And I can't help wondering if we
—and they—have not squandered
an awful lot of blood— ie.personnel—
not to mention, time and money,
on another losing cause.

As much as I know this is a weekend
to celebrate the brave men and women
who protect the rest of us, and our way of life
by going off to war, especially those,
that make that much talked about
but too often not thought about
"ultimate sacrifice", I still find myself enraged,
so much so, I can hardly stand to think about it
for one more minute.

And still, and still...
My fondness for all things Italian
wins out and I find myself ensconced before my television
and for the umpteenth time glued to "Tea with Mussolini".
After all, is there anything more soul-restoring than the scene
in that movie, near the end when the passel of old ladies
defy the Nazis by plastering themselves against the towers of San Gimignano
so the retreating soldiers can't make a last-ditch attempt to bomb them
to dust, as the allies are marching across Tuscany?

Sigh, no, I don't suppose there is...


  1. An interesting perspective, Sharon. I have been watching television, haven't seen war movies..maybe they will play tomorrow. On another note, I haven't seen "Tea With Mussolini." And that sounds good! And escapism too!

  2. i think in many ways we have squandered blood...i have come to understand there is a time for everything..i have a hard time believing we could have peacefully dealt with someone like hitler...but...if we could see an end to war it would be great...until then...we honor those that gave their lives...dont know that i have seen tea with mussolini...

  3. I have seen this Maggie Smith...a favourite of mine. You might like " Malena" also set in wartime Italy.
    I do not like long weekends either ...our Anzac day I find very depressing!

  4. Powerful writing, I haven't seen the movie but I will have to look into it. It is extremely upsetting to think about. I have very strong opinions against war, all the destruction of innocent lives and resources

    I remember a few weeks ago every channel was dedicated to sexual fetishes, I don't have cable just regular television it was the most bizarre thing

  5. I relate to your reflections about war, and feel much the same. I, too, love retreating into movies and Tea With Mussolini is good - time for me to watch it again.

  6. Wow, I Like The Way The Poem Turns At The End, Very Honest.

  7. Sharon, no one seems to remember that the big American manufacturers were selling to Hitler with no conscience, including Farben, IBM, and Prescott Bush's oil company. His son and grandson? We made them presidents. ALL WAR is about profiteering. Rich men invent the "cause," and low-income and poor kids fight the battles. I hate war, and Hitler was imploding when we got into that one anyway... and then the bomb on Hiroshima? Who can celebrate that? The Disgusted Ranting American Menopausal Pacifist, Amy

  8. What a twist added to your poem! Nice :)