Reality Television, 1969

D.F. Brown
Newsweek magazine 1965
Image via Flickr Creative Commons

for my daughter

I thought I knew the way
through words to tell
again the soldier’s take,
how language harbors
expectations—and
not just the wasteful carnage
of youthful courage cut down
for a culture that needs
their blood to purpose
what little poetry
can be made of their death—
what marks those boys slaughtered:
they were sent like you flush the toilet
to a war no one wanted any more,
so they gave it to their children,
let them play with death
watched them die on TV during supper.

D.F. Brown was born and raised in the Missouri Ozarks. He served as a combat medic with the First of the Fourteenth Infantry in Vietnam, 1969–1970.