Oath of Orifice

You swore you wouldn’t lie or cheat or steal,
or tolerate among you those who do:
an oath expressive of a high ideal;
but rare in practice as a flying seal;
which is to say exceedingly unreal
like body-counts and budgets, neither true;
or “taking out” Jihadi Number Two;
or weaponry that works when ordered to,
regardless of effect on troop and crew
who anyway have not the slightest clue
why they should fight and die for such as you.

In Orifice, that is, within the hole
from out of which emerges turds and gas
you decorated leaders on the dole
persist in playing your anointed role:
to slide and slither up the greasy pole;
displaying proudly tits and balls of brass;
while kissing up to some “commanding” ass;
and kicking down upon the lower class;
not giving one’s “commander” any sass.
You “fight” by leading with your jaw of glass.
Why so surprised at what has come to pass?

Two decades in Afghanistan you spent.
Like Vietnam, a loss that means “success”
because back home few own while most must rent.
So who cares if you didn’t make a dent
in propaganda “goals” you never meant?
What counts is that you’ve made a bloody mess
without the slightest sweat or strain or stress.
You’ve taken much but given only less
for which the bible thumpers shout “Gawd Bless!”
saluting while they beg for more duress
which you’ll see that they get. So just swear: “Yes!”

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2022