victory?

von Walter W Hölbling
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our classic tales of war and victory
tell stories of substantial gains
in land, human resources, treasures,
from Homer, Cesar, Charles the Great,
to Ghengis Khan, Napoleon,
the Spanish, then the British empires, etc.

today, dictators are delighted over victories
whose gains are endless miles of rubble
shown on television
devastated cities bombed into oblivion
that will take decades to rebuild
and populate again
hundreds of thousands people killed
mostly women, children, and the elderly
who could not flee in time

how can one who has been the source
of so much suffering and devastation
harvesting bombed-out cities
laced with corpses
claim victory?!

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