the war is over, except it isn’t. The memories are still fresh, and so we rehash the cowardly enemy, his unconscionable atrocities, our brave men and their acts of heroism. We watch the documentaries, parades and propaganda, salute those who’ve returned and bow our heads for those who never can.  

the war is over, except for unfinished business. The time for plowshares is upon us, the labor of undoing the work of bombs and shells, bullets and rockets. Instead of exacting tribute, grinding lives beneath our heels, we feed recent enemies and allies alike, rebuild their cities, restore their fields, restart their industries.  

the war is over, except it never really is. The alliances shift, bonds deepen or break. We embrace those we recently vilified, vilify those we embraced. Waiting just over the horizon, patriotically being prepared for, the next iteration readies itself for the call we told ourselves would never come again.