A Ghost Who Loves War

Noble bystanders observed
her tortured to death
from a diplomatic distance
where culture is relative
because to pacifists
war is bad, but
war is good
when she was
my daughter raped

Be serious and love war
when we win

I died on Normandy beach, I thought
to save you all from Tyranny

Yet you waited to be serious
to be robust
to finally defeat the Soviet Union

My agony did not rest
when I visited prisoners in the Gulag;
I tried to comfort them, but
some did not listen to ghosts
or even believe

You waited to be serious
as I visited prisoners
in Saddam’s prisons —
need I tell you they were tortured
in sacred sovereignity
pain not our business
because you’re anti-war
against intervention, and
she was my daughter raped
not yours

You waited too long
like Chamberlain
to vomit

I love war
when it’s done soon

Next time don’t wait.
Evil doesn’t wait to teach hate,
to corrupt
to imprison my daughter

I will love the last war the best.
War is good.
Do it soon
do it well
so her screams
haunt me less
though I am
more ghost than you
but I fear going to the light–
I could not bear it if
she is not in heaven
or I will not be worthy to visit
—- Douglas Gilbert
(Henry Le Châtelier)

Poetry Books By Douglas Gilbert