What We’ve Become

By Sam Hamod

What We’ve Become

you don’t know the name
or the face
of the girl you’ve just bombed

nothing more
to say


What Homer Left Out

and wasn’t Ulysses
a bit foolish, along with
Odysseus, for leaving
their wives behind, to
wander into a useless war,
just to satisfy the ego
of an ignorant and vain king, the
way American troops blindly follow
orders in wars they don’t
want or understand, wars that
go against everything they were
in church, in
school, at
home, and that they
believed, in like that easy word,
“democracy,” the other words that
got twisted by men pretending to
speak for God, like “Christian values,”
as these preacher men screwed their secretaries
or their choir directors, or senators who
cheated on their wives while preaching
constancy, the same ones who felt it
was good to send others to these wars
in Carthage, in Troy, in Iraq and Afghanistan,
and then left their children at home, knowing
they were
defenseless, while they killed
defenseless Iraqi and Afghani
children, and wives of men who
had their hands and their feet bound
while they shot their husband’s brains out,
then when they finally did get home, they
were lost, they didn’t have anyone to give
them orders, so they issued orders, and when
the wives didn’t recognize them, or didn’t
obey, they whacked them, or slapped them
silly, the way Odysseus felt like slapping his
wife when he got home, and they never told
us what he did to her or how she treated him,
Homer made it seem as if it was glorious, his
homecoming, but Homer never went into that
other part because
it would have spoiled his story, just
as the U.S. Government doesn’t want anyone
to realize how rough these men are when
they return home, having learned how to give up
their Christian values, that they’ve learned to
shoot at the slightest movement they don’t like, or
slap someone when they don’t obey in the first
it was first in the brain, then it was sent down
to deaden the heart, to teach them, when they
were at Boot Camp and after, that you shoot first,
don’t think about it,
and you sure as hell don’t
ask questions, just as Odysseus was told, then
told his men, not to ask questions, but to "just do it,"
take revenge when and where he felt like it, just as
the men who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan,
will take revenge as they see fit, and if they don’t get to
bring their guns home, they’ll know how and where
to get one, not just a pop gun or an old 38, but a spray
gun, one that takes care of the enemy, whether it be
friend, foe, wife, cop or whatever, or someone who
made them mad in a traffic jam, and their voyages,
unlike those of Ulysses and Odysseus, will not
become part of great literature, but will get lost
in some Pentagon papers that will be torn up or
and they, like their friends they left behind
in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Viet Nam, in Troy,
will be forgotten ,
buried with lives
lived and lost
without names.

(c: sam hamod, 2010)

– Sam Hamod is a poet who was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, has published 10 books of poems, the winner of the Ethnic Heritage Prize for Poetry, taught at The Writers Workshop of The U. of Iowa, Princeton, Michigan, Howard and edited THIRD WORLD NEWS in Washington, DC. He contributed these poems to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: samhamod@sbcglobal.net.

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