The Way Forward
(on the graduation of the U.S. Army’s first women infantrymen)
Body bags laid out like black piano keys
The somber discordant score of war.
Brought up on the dream
The impervious fighting machine
The American soldier, G.I. Joe, now Jane
Gladiator, warrior, hero of the world.
This is equality.
One finally equals one
Right down to shaved heads
No gender bias for killing machines.
Another glass ceiling broken
Another barrier removed
Another line erased
Another milestone reached
Is this the bend towards justice
The visionary foretold?
PTSD for all?
War gets to do double-time
Misery for all without distinction.
Expiration dates creep ever nearer
The future is a crater, not a flower.
Wave your weapon, woman warrior!
Madame Death awaits you as well.
Her feast accelerated
By madness once reserved only for boys.
Now women, too, can enjoy a body bag future,
Return to an Arlington cross,
Ride a flag-draped coffin
Into the eternal womb.
An octave can’t be played only with half-notes.
Body bags are always black.
John LoSasso is a semi-retired, NYC high school teacher who spends his free time reading, writing and running. He is employed as an academic coach at Pace University, and he joined The Craft of War Writing, a free writing workshop based upon the themes of conflict and war, first as a participant, now as an associate teacher. Originally from Brooklyn, he resides in the Bronx with his wife and cat.