“It is Cut and dried.
It is Cut and dried.
A Poem by Coyote Poetry
Old words still mean the same.
Old man sitting at the Old Fox tavern.
Drinking his rum and coke and rolling a Silver Star in his hand.
The Silver Star given for killing many in untrue wars.
He knew the Army appeased him with this token keepsake.
He put the medal on the table.
Drinking down the last sip.
He ordered another rum and coke.
I sat with my father.
He gave me a smile of welcome and ordered me a beer.
He was only forty. His anger driven him to kill often in the civilian world.
He paid his due in prison for manslaughter in self-defense.
He told me.
“it cut and dried son. An old Ojibwa/Mexican had no chance.
I was a residual of a man who only skill was to kill for a government who
consume the poor youth for the profit of war. I have toil for many years.
People looked at me with fear. I was an imperfect beast create by poverty and war.”
I had joined the military like my father.
I was a poor kid with no place to go.
I saw the struggle and disappointment in his eyes.
War is fought by the poor people for the rich man gain.
My father smile and told me. “No benefit to swim in old thoughts.
Disgrace memories are the curse of a silver man. I need more rum my son.
I was bold and daring once. I volunteered for war. I killed many in the Korean war.
Left brother in unmarked graves forgotten. It is okay son. Cut and dried son, there is no good
ending for a drunk Indian with no place to go.”
I sat many night waiting for my father to request to go home.
I learn later. Many men from the Vietnam and Korean war era tried to drink themselves to death.
There are many murals of men who fought and died together.
Men who were serenaded song of war and glory by a heartless government.
I believe many more died at home than the battlefield.
Agent orange and the chaos of war cursed their vision to focus on real life.
My father told me often. ” Don’t allow anyone to look down at you. Get education and show the world you are their equal and more. Too many had died for you to accept shit from anyone.”
In the end. My father was killed by the booze and the memory of war.
I drink the long Island ice teas and I roll my father’s silver stars.
I pray he found peace in death.