The Protest By Alan Ulert

They were all there. A ghastly, assorted
crowd, with blood dripping from each crippled body;
limbless, with faces painfully contorted
and torn uniforms. A soldier’s parody!

And they were many and of various ages;
they all have died on the field of glory.

The wars they fought have been filling pages
of the World’s bloody, sinister history.

They came from freshly-dug and from old graves;
they came together for a moment fleeting,
united in death that from hatred saves
to join voices in a protest meeting.

One ghastly speaker rose after another
against the living his charges to fling.
They set out brother to fight a brother
to suit a tyrant, dictator or king.

They always say, “Blood shall freedom buy
and save the country” it is all so plain!
But fighting over, it proves to be lie
and our blood has been shed in vain.

In our eyes they were throwing sand
when telling stories of hero and quitter.
For death, no matter if for Fatherland,
isn’t a shade even sweeter.

They send us into foreign land
to fight for honor and for justice.

But like ostrich, head buried in sand
They do not face up to injustice.

They still spread hate, but a fact is true
no matter what they write or say:
We all, the Gentile as well as the Jew,
have died the same, cold and cruel way.

No matter if our skins are black or white
In spite of lies that were spread,
Hung from barbed wire, we were ugly sight,
and blood that flows was always bright red.

They urged us on with words so big
all about honor, duty and home soil.
But now we know, now up is the jig.

We find they traded our blood for oil!

They put some marble over our bones
and toss some flowers whenever they pass
and think that phoney shrine atones
for broken pledges they gave to us.

But we don’t want their reverence.
Their pretty speeches make our souls sicker.
With marble shrines we can well dispense.
It all serves only to make the meek meeker.

We went and fought and won their wars;
were led by promises like geese.
But did they ever outlaw force?
But did we ever win the peace?

So, now, YOU LIVING, we implore
and send you this solemn request:
LIVE UP TO WHAT WE DIED FOR!
But till then, we The Dead, protest!

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