The Plague War

I feel the pain in their incessant battle,
The urge to bite, but armor shields the flesh,
The trembling heart-shock of the feared rebuttal,
The wanted wound that keeps the hatred fresh;

I feel the murderous pity for the ones
The enemy supposedly still harms,
The warm companionship of well-shared guns,
The pride of race or wokeness, up in arms–

Arms that have blades upon their very helves,
That cut the striker while he strikes the stricken,
Weapons that turn themselves against themselves,
Medicine mixed to make the taker sicken.

And they’re good people too, made mad with grief:
God grant the damned election brings relief.

By Frederick Turner

Professor, poet, lecturer, black belt, and more.

One reply on “The Plague War”

Hi, Dr. Turner. I’m a former student from many years ago. Took your Shakespeare class w Doyen, Heather, and the rest; I played Gertrude in our production of Hamlet. Now I’m a nurse working in child psychiatry. Recently rediscovered your work after finding a copy of More Light at a Half Price Books. This is a long way of saying thank you for your healing work: the lovely, lucid words.

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