this is a poem that started a very long time ago, in my first college cw class, i think. it's gone through several revisions since.
View from the Kitchen Window after Four Years of War
I turn off the television, tired
of watching the same news every day.
I need a drink of water, go to the sink,
brush the faded curtain aside and stare out
through the screen ---
Cubed green hills as brilliant in the sun
as any pigment in a box of crayons,
cornstalks waving slowly
in a too warm wind, the grid overlapping
all, like attack plans on graph paper,
perfection simplified, a patriotic dream,
a child’s game in rural America.
Cows dot the fields like fallen toy soldiers,
the leaves ruffled by the breeze
could be flags. It is a history book
battlefield, dramatic, glorious.
I bring my face closer to the screen
to look through the square cages of wire,
knowing that the world isn’t neatly broken
into perfect cubes, that war is not noble,
and that dust coats the rusted screens
of seldom washed farm house windows.