Year 17

We begin year seventeen

with less fanfare than year one

and I can’t even remember now

what I was doing

the moment that it began

senior year of high school

focused on football, girls, and my truck

not realizing I was stuck in a system

stuck in a small town

stuck at seventeen

mind full of American dreams

now, sixteen years gone

we begin year seventeen

and I was seventeen

when the towers came crashing down

and less than a year later

I had a high school diploma

and a uniform

and I was doing my best to conform

but in 2001, October 7th meant nothing

just another New England fall day

I cared more about Sunday football games

than what the president had to say…

“As we strike military targets,

we will also drop food,

medicine and supplies

to the starving and suffering men,


and children of Afghanistan.

The United States of America is a friend

to the Afghan people.”

No, I didn’t care enough to realize

that he was so full of shit,

didn’t care enough to realize

that those weren’t just terrorists we hit

with bomb after bomb

day after day

week after week

month after month

and year after year

at seventeen, I waved a flag

and I cheered.

The food never fell,

the medicine never fell

and the supplies never fell

and by the time

that I was sent to Iraq

America was already

a long way off track

and Afghanistan was already an afterthought.

Years have passed since then.

Sixteen years ago today

we sought blood

we sought revenge

we sought terrorists

but what does terrorizing

a tribal nation

for sixteen years

make us?


About soitgoes1984

I was born and raised on land stolen from the Pocumtuc. I now live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, on land that was stolen more recently, from the Hawaiians. I am addict, struggling to kick the habit of fossil fuel. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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