Our Legacy

Before reading this poem, read the correspondence entitled Children in Iraq.

Wherever men use weapons
To sort out their affairs,
They leave embittered victims,
A legacy for their heirs.

For fighting is not tidy.
It leaves a trail behind
Of damaged children, broken
In body or in mind.

A legacy still living,
We pass on to our heirs,
The poisonous plant of hatred –
What bitterness it bears.

The cycle will continue.
Passed on, it will not cease,
Unless we change our minds, and
Resolve to make our peace.

To foster peace is hard work,
More difficult than war.
It means we have to listen
To those whom we abhor.

But if we keep on fighting,
As proud and macho men,
We simply store up troubles
Till the cycle starts again.

For fighting is not cleansing.
It leaves the wounds of hate.
And over years the memories
Begin to suppurate.

Unless we work at building peace
Instead of making war,
There’ll only be an interval
Till the cycle starts once more.

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