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...