Film can reverse but not time – poetry by Marge Piercy

“…the deadly / stupid careen down the slope / of history, spewing lives, torture, / billions of debt to thwart”

Film can reverse but not time

If we could run it all backward
the blood back into the wound
leg reattached, eye knit to socket
the fiery pain back into the bomb;

if we could reverse the deadly
stupid careen down the slope
of history, spewing lives, torture,
billions of debt to thwart

our great grandchildren, if
we could stuff the evil genie
of oil back into the earth
and walk away, would we

do it all again? I cannot
be sanguine because I
remember the last time.  It’s
never the same but close

enough. We thought we were
blue-eyed cavalry charging over
the hill into the Indian encamp-
ment with gatling guns.  Even

after Korea and Vietnam, we still
thought war was a football game
we could win in the last quarter
as we render ourselves obsolete.

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