After Twenty Years
by Thomas Banks (October 2021)
Outbound, Jules George, 2010
A voice inside a suit said pack your bags,
And so we say farewell to war and sand:
The same contended voice serenely brags
Of what fine order we leave in a land
It cannot quite locate upon a chart
That shows the places nameless blood was spilt.
Speaking out from the bottom of its heart,
The voice praises the peace it says we built
By our devotion, fearlessness and grace
That banished lawlessness and made a nation
Where lawlessness resumes its former place.
But (says the voice) that distant situation
Belongs to other wills and minds to mend.
God bless the man who thought we were his friend.
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