The Unanswered Questions of War

(Written just prior to the first Iraq war)

What do you say to the little girl’s mom

When all she has left is the child in her arms

And the girl is there, and the girl is dead…

What do you say to the little girl’s mom?

*Refrain:

What do you say when no answers come

When the battle is over and the war is won

How can you say it was worth the cost

When the one you loved most is lost?

*

What do you say to the mother whose son

Was killed in the war so that freedom is won

And the boy is there and the boy is dead…

What do you say to the mother at home?

*

What do you say to the young wife at home

When all she has left is the flag in her palms?

And her husband is there, and her husband is dead

What do you say to the young wife at home?

*Refrain:

What do you say when no answers come

When the battle is over and the war is won

How can you say it was worth the cost

When the one you loved most is lost?

*

What do you say to the little girl’s Mom…

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Dwight L. Roth 3/03 & 4/04 Originally written as a song…

Today at d’Verse, Bjorn asked us to write a war poem. War is such a tragedy, with so many lives lost and maimed. But the saddest part is collateral damage of children killed in the carnage. I was asked, before the first invasion of Iraq, what I thought about President Bush sending troupes over there. I said it will probably end up being another Viet Nam. A no win war with extreme losses. With the second invasion and the expansion into Afghanistan, it has become a quicksand for the US. This is my song I wrote back at the beginning, as I thought of all those families that would be displaced and permanently damaged by the war.

Join us at: https://dversepoet.com Then click on the Mr. Linkey box and read more.

68 thoughts on “The Unanswered Questions of War

  1. Daylight again
    Following me to bed
    I think about 100 years ago
    How my fore fathers bled

    I think I see a valley
    Cover in bones of blue
    All the brave soldiers who cannot grow older
    Been asking after you

    Hear the past a’calling
    From Armageddon’s side
    When everyone’s talking and nobody listening
    How can we decide?

    Do we find the cost of freedom
    Buried in the ground?
    Mother earth will swallow you
    Lay your body down

    — Stephen Stills 1970, 1978

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Beautiful.
    When the Iraq war happened my niece was a Rhode Scholar at Oxford. She was so shaken up that she quit her research and came back to India. She has done amazing work on the education of the underprivileged since then. We are so proud of her

    No war has ever really helped.

    Peace unto all 🙏

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Oh Dwight this is very pointed and powerful…
    “How can you say it was worth the cost
    When the one you loved most is lost?”
    … I’ve written a number of ‘war’ poems over the years…. ‘war’ is a very painful subject…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. That’s the beauty of songs and poems, Dwight, they are interchangeable. You make an important point in this poem/song about the loss of so many innocent children. I like the way it’s structured using questions and repetition, driving home the message.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That really was the kicker! The old warmongers advising young bush were just itching to get a foothold in the middle east. Power really does corrupt the common good! Yes… “When will they ever learn…”

      Like

  5. We need to get our noses out of the business of the rest of the world and use our resources to renovate our infrastructure and get ourselves into balance, economically and spiritually as a nation. We are hurting. Use the military troops here to rebuild or get another Civilian Conservation Corps going. War should be the LAST thing on our minds. Dwight I remember back then and was horror-stricken at all that transpired during the Bush years.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I was as well and it all played out as predicted and we will live with the fall out for years to come! Thank you for your comment. I agree Think of what could have been done to help the world if those billions had been used to build instead of destroy!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is incredibly powerful. I was struck most by the image of the flag within the one stanza. And mostly, the repetition, the refrain….and the war after war after war…the war is the refrain. When will we learn?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Beautiful song, Dwight! If we were all more empathetic to the whole human race, if young people were not so brainwashed by visions of patriotism and glory, if older people were less power-hungry and greedy, there would be far fewer wars. ❤ I would like to hear your song! Take care!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: The Unanswered Questions of War – Plinh's Home

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