Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 7
Spring 2013

[Three Poems]

by Burton Raabe

Bug Splat

When a drone kills
an insurgent (or whomever).
It is called 
bug splat.

Bug splat.
That’s funny.

Is it because it happens
on a computer screen,
or because they are 
killed by insects (drones)?

Is it because
that is what we
have to do
to make it ok?


Sacrifice Must Be Made

At the Friday night lights town
a dead Marine’s image 
is posted at the crossroads.

A news crew interviews
folks at the diner,
a fountain of wisdom,
an oracle.

“I remember him playing football.”
“He loved the Cardinals.”
“He died for our way of life.”
“His mom works at the Family Dollar.”

The folks are eating.
Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, corn,
choice of slaw or cup of soup,
pie and coffee.

The TV is on. 
Combines are in the field.


Marine Suicide in Downstate Illinois

In the small towns,
in the country,
it is either marriage or war
that we honor.

The flowers here are sky blue.
Paler than dress blue.
Paler than gun blue.
Paler than the bluebirds.

The blue chicory flowers 
bloom for miles.
Roadside blooms
instead of roadside bombs.

Jake would walk the gravel road
and pick flowers
to take home
or smell the licorice.

Jake stopped by the road
and picked the flower.
Flower blue in one hand,
gun blue in the other.

He smelled the licorice,
then blew out his brains.
He would not do a fourth tour.



SHJ Issue 7
Spring 2013

Burton Raabe

is a 67-year-old retired welder and counselor. He was in the Peace Corps in India in '68, '69. And is now writing poetry and stories with a group in Peoria, IL. He is “disturbed, saddened, frustrated by what I see as the creeping militarism and glorification of war and the resultant damage it has done to many young people.”

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury