March 16, 2010

For Freedom or Democracy or Something

by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

After basic in Borden

the soldiers congregate in Fred Grant Square

for a send off

before being shipped out to Halifax harbour

for deployment.

With each major deployment,

the municipal authorities

bring out the decorated veteran amputees

of the last war

to show off their shiny medals

as they limp

and wheel down main street.

The glares of both the veterans and

the soldiers are filled with contempt

when they look at unmarried men

of draft age

ignoring the festivities and

going about their daily business.

The soldiers say they are fighting

to defend me

but given the chance

they would kill me in a second.


they've found someone else to kill

half a world away

while I buy my carton of milk and

check out the girl at Crossovers

they say can shoot ping pong balls

out of her cunt.


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