Imperial Wars by Victor Henry

We don’t like talking about them,
So we don’t.
But those who protested against them
Tried to tell us.

But we wouldn’t listen.
Don’t you remember? We revolted
Against European colonial domination?
Now, less and less is said about our wars.

Very few of us can recall them.
We greeted the veterans coming home
From our first loss in silence.
As a participant observer in this poem,

I would argue our first loss
Was the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
Isn’t it interesting that we can’t sustain peace
For any worthwhile length of time.

Before, we were compelled
To invent a brand new imperialism,
One that our grand children
Would benefit from.

But then, like a boat in a rising tide,
We reached an apex.
At least that was the illusion.
As if we needed a definition

From the DSM-5.
In the end we failed.
We failed to sell the rest
Of the changing world.

To an America unwilling to change.

Victor Henry
My poetry and prose poems have appeared in Misfit Magazine, Dead Snakes, Homestead Review, The Paterson Literary Review, Red River Review, and Slipstream, among others. My book What They Wanted was published last November 11th, Veterans Day, by FutureCycle Press in Lexington, Kentucky.

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