The War Works Hard
How magnificent the war is! How eager and efficient! Early in the morning it wakes up the sirens and dispatches ambulances to various places swings corpses through the air rolls stretchers to the wounded summons rain from the eyes of mothers digs into the earth dislodging many things from under the ruins... Some are lifeless and glistening others are pale and still throbbing... It produces the most questions in the minds of children entertains the gods by shooting fireworks and missiles into the sky sows mines in the fields and reaps punctures and blisters urges families to emigrate stands beside the clergymen as they curse the devil (poor devil, he remains with one hand in the searing fire)... The war continues working, day and night. It inspires tyrants to deliver long speeches awards medals to generals and themes to poets it contributes to the industry of artificial limbs provides food for flies adds pages to the history books achieves equality between killer and killed teaches lovers to write letters accustoms young women to waiting fills the newspapers with articles and pictures builds new houses for the orphans invigorates the coffin makers gives grave diggers a pat on the back and paints a smile on the leader's face. It works with unparalleled diligence! Yet no one gives it a word of praise.
Copyright © 2005 by Dunya Mikhail and Elizabeth Winslow. From The War Works Hard. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing.