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Dragon’s Teeth

by Michael Murry

Dragon’s teeth by Cadmus sown
Sprung full grown from battle’s plain
Men who answer Havoc’s call
Until all but few are slain

Grieved by peace and fed by war
Running sore on life’s pale skin
Strife and struggle set the pace
Of the race they hope to win

Many money hope to earn
Others learn to love the game
Mercenary soldiers smile
All the while they stoke the flame

“Gold Rush” is the phrase they like
Then they strike a bargain good
Duty doesn’t count for much
When there’s such a trough of food

Feeding local fear and spite
Foreign fighters skim the cream
Raking in the profits huge
With deluge a distant scream

Doors revolve and bring around
What we found the times before
Again the no-bid “contracts”
Are the facts behind the lore

Poor men fight while rich men count
An amount not advertised
Dogs of War gnaw battle’s bones
Congress drones on, not surprised

Soldiers die for a pittance
But freelancers do quite well
Armed by Colt and Beretta
Lured by the battlefield’s smell

Mercenaries have their fling
Then they bring their bonus back
Riding war’s careening bus
Billing us for their attack.

“Soldiers die for Dogs of War!”
Avatar Fallujah cries
Bitten through by Dragon’s teeth
Crushed beneath the Dog she dies

Soldier schooled in war’s regime
Not a scheming, moneyed flack
Fights to honor you and me
Not for fee or loot or sack.

Copyright © 2004 by Michael Murry

A related poem, “They Also Serve,” appeared in issue 114.

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