Not Ours

POETRY FORMAT, 17 Sep 2012

Tom Greening – TRANSCEND Media Service

I intervened in a dog fight
to save my beloved dachshund’s life
and felt like I’d plunged into World War III.
The noise was deafening,
it seemed to last an eternity,
and although I prevailed,
I got bit.
Well-anesthetized in the emergency ward,
getting my minor wounds stitched up,
I comment to the doctor on
the far worse plight of Afghani civilians
being maimed and killed by mines and bombs.
“Three a day, by the mines,” I remark.
“Not ours,” he replies.
Ah yes—the former Evil Empire’s.
Let’s compute how many quarts or liters of blood
have been spilled by whom,
and explain to God or the Martians,
or maybe the dead,
that we only spilled some of it,
and always for a good cause.
Will I then feel free
to ignore Afghanistan again
and rededicate myself
to what really counts,
to protecting a pampered pet?

Published in After Thoughts, a book of poems about the 9/11 attack.


Tom Greening: “I engage in five professional activities:
Faculty Member at Saybrook University
Private Practice of Psychotherapy
Clinical Professor of Psychology, UCLA
International Editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology
Writing (Poetry).”


This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 17 Sep 2012.

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