Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hand-me-down Warfare

A Meditation from a Lover of Fireworks
by Jim Rapp

Have you wondered if our fascination with –
to say nothing of our participation in –
sport, is vicarious; a venting of our ancient faith
that winners are righteous; losers have sinned?

What shame it is to win the penultimate round,
then not succeed in clinching the final crown.
“Clinch the crown!” – a linguistic reminder, full-blown,
that sport is warfare’s hand-me-down.

And every 4th of July the rockets’ red glare –
the thud of bombs bursting in air –
allow us to stand in safety and stare;
enjoying a “battle” without being there.

The day will include a contest or two –
all cheer for the hometown boys to triumph.
There’ll be feasting and a youthful hullabaloo,
then it all ends with a flash, a roar, a chest-filling thump.

The swoosh, the flare, and the thunder
stir ancient tribal instincts that we
cannot indulge and not wonder
how truly devoted to peace we may be.

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