After the battle is over
the soldiers return to their barracks
and we organize a homecoming parade
that costs millions of dollars
to greet our splendid warriors,
who did their job properly
and killed our enemies.
Then there are our leaders
who boldly snatched billions
and sent our armies abroad
and enforced economic sanctions
in tiny, totalitarian kingdoms,
while millions of our people
petitioned our government in vain
for desperately needed assistance.
Instead of expensively presenting
the legions in their splendour,
we should have an honor guard
for each branch of the service
proudly bear the flag up Broadway,
slogging through the tickertape
to our cheers and gratitude,
and we’ll use the money saved
in judicious investments
for the future of our children.
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway and toured colleges and outdoor performance venues. He currently lives in New York City, where he's busy writing fiction and his short stories have recently appeared in numerous literary magazines including The Shine Journal.