It’s day 19 of NaPoWriMo. At Read Write Poem we’ve been asked to think about friendship and at One Single Impression the prompt is ‘one word’. My meditation on friendship led me to think about ‘friend’ as the opposite to ‘enemy’ and considering being a friend to someone you don’t even know. Now I’m no flag waving patriot: I’m a pacifist with a strong tendency to cowardice. When the U.S. and Britain decided unilaterally to invade Iraq, I didn’t think this was a just war. A visit to the Labour party website, rather than strengthening the case for war, had convinced me that there were unlikely to be WMDs in Iraq. I wrote a poem, Unidentified , expressing my belief that terrorism would escalate. However, what about the men and women who lay their lives on the line fighting for their country? I’ve written a rondeau (my second) so to some extent I’ve been constrained by the form.
It seems strange to me.
In a free market economy
where worth is the same as price
which goes up then down like a lottery dice
these people are a dichotomy
Is it better to be
altruistic or greedy
when nothing but more will suffice?
It seems strange
in my epistemology
that being born free
to choose they don’t think twice
even paying the highest price
in dying for humanity
It seems strange.
Greater love has no-one than this
that he lay down his life for his friends.
When I first came across these words as a child, I felt that, if put to the test, I would be found wanting. They are just as much of a challenge today.