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They Must Be Heroes • The Fist of Freedom

Paul Lojeski: Our voluntary killers loving the hunt far away, doing the muscle work of profit and pride.
They Must Be Heroes

They Must Be Heroes

Our voluntary killers
loving the hunt far away,
doing the muscle work

of profit and pride.
Sniper fire, bomb blasts,
babies’ body parts

hurtling across burning
sky, all invisible here.
When they come home,

grand music shakes
the night, solemn
ceremonies hailing

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protectors of the faith,
saviors of freedom.
Heartstrings tugged,

patriotic fervor fired up.
Assassins in spot lights,
loud speakers blaring

their heroic deeds,
translating slaughter
into salvation. And we

rise to cheer, roaring
approval: loyal, thundering
citizens, the good Germans.

The Fist of Freedom

Years ago, I went to see
a shrink. About my age,
we chatted about this
and that, until he told
me coolly he’d been
a bomber pilot
in Vietnam. I kept
talking about nothing
for a while, my brain
on fire, trying to get it,
fighting to understand
how I was sitting there
29 years after the slaughter
across form a mass
murderer, for surly
he’d killed thousands
without hearing a single
scream. A therapist?
He should’ve been
doing hard time.
busting rocks under
a blazing sun.
But that’s how it goes
when you’re the winner,
the victorious empire,
the American storm of death.

Now the criminals fly
above Iraq and Syria.
Murdering 200 yesterday
in Mosul, laughing
at history, repeating
it with a bloody glee.
The American fist of freedom.

Paul Lojeski