THE WARTIME ISSUE

Reginald Dwayne Betts

 

A CONVERSATION

iraq is the kindling we place
around our feet while mouthing a prayer:

dead aint never been more subtle
than when tucked into the back pages of the paper.

if only we could father our demise
and blend into history as action not feints and dips

instead of watching rumors
of torture and dead bodies grow into common knowledge,

and collateral damage become
what fills the space between death rates and our reaction.

like dead aint never been more subtle
than when tucked into the back pages of the paper

and the stories of war heroes don’t still gather
like homeless men in the minds of my generation.

and the draft aint no more important
to us than kwame brown shooting his next jumper in italy

cause dead aint never been more subtle
than when tucked into the back pages of the paper

 

 

Reginald Dwayne Betts attends Prince George's Community College. Raised in Suitland, MD, he began writing poetry in high school and currently runs a program called YoungMenRead, whose aim is to encourage literacy and reading among young men through book clubs and other activities. His work has appeared in Poet Lore and other publications.

Published in Volume 7, Number 2, Spring 2006.