The Misfortune Teller ("Dead Metaphors")

Dead Metaphors

We serve as a symbol to shield those who screw us
The clueless, crass cretins who crap on our creed
We perform the foul deeds they can only do through us
Then lay ourselves down in the dark while we bleed

Through cheap Sunday slogans they sought to imbue us
With lust for limp legacy laughably lean
Yet the Pyrrhic parade only served to undo us
We die now for duty, not "honor" obscene

We carried out plans that the lunatics drew us
Their oil-spotted, fly paper, domino dream
Then we fought for the leftover bones that they threw us
While carpetbag contractors cleaned up the cream

We stood at attention so they could review us
Like bugs on display in a cage made of glass
We hurried, then waited, so they could subdue us
Yet somewhere inside something said: “kiss my ass.”

We did the George Custer scene Rumsfeld gave to us
We took ourselves targets to arrows and bows
While the brass punched their tickets, the Indians slew us
A "strategy" ranking with History's lows

When veterans balked they contrived to pooh-pooh us
With sneers at our “syndrome” of Vietnam sick
When that didn’t work they set out to voodoo us
With sewer boat slanderers paid to be slick

The wad-shooting gambler comes once more to woo us
His PR team planning precise photo ops
For to sell his used war he'll have need to construe us
As witless weak wallpaper campaign-ad props

The nuts and the dolts in their suits really blew us
They made our life's meaning a dead metaphor
Still, no matter how Furies and Fate may pursue us
The Fig Leaf Contingent has been here before

The years pass in darkness and graveyards accrue us
As early returns on investments gone wrong
So the next time “supporters” of troops ballyhoo us
Remember to vomit in tune to this song.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2005