it was a war fought
with secret weapons
and repellent allies
against unseen enemies
in far flung places
where nobody you knew
had ever been
and nobody explained
why we were at war or
what winning meant

our brave fighters
came home at nights
from cosy bunkers
on the moors
having blown away
hospitals and schools
burning to ashes
millions of children
which they called
killing the enemy

never killing enough
to make a difference
and the enemy killed
a dozen of ours
on a city street
now and then to kid us
they were really there
and we never knew
if we were winning
it or losing

it rumbled on
for generations
costing trillions
it bled us white
bus routes were axed
homeless multiplied
food banks blossomed
jobs disappeared
children lost hope
in the future

most people grew poor
a few became
filthy wealthy
they lied to us
slithered into power
and we could not get
rid of them
try as we might
sometimes I wonder
who the enemy was

Clark Nida
January 2020