Almost never do the actual people call for war to come,
to spill its graceless fire upon their own small towns,
upon their own brown fields:
The farmer hoeing backwards through his rows,
his nose to the musty earth and the insects rising;
The old tobacconist who nods in his doorway,
odors like murals of years on his high crowned walls;
The young woman rocking her own first child
just as the moonlight falls...
Almost never do these actual people,
the ones who have chickens and daughters and uncles,
the ones who have toothbrushes hung by the bathtub
and Bibles and soup-pots and gold wedding bands,
call for war to come, to lay their walls upon their heads,
to pull the dead by the seams of their trousers
from piles of their once-pots and once-oaken beds.
Almost never do the actual people call for war to come:
The school girl bent to composition books;
The mailman who carries his load on the lane;
The mechanic who lies upside down below car bellies
plying the darkness with fingers of stain.
Almost never do these actual people say:
Spill us as dust to our fields and our lanes
from which flowers will grow again someday.