The Ides of March

I read about the

Ides of March

When in high school

We read Julius Caesar


That was March’s terror


I never read about My Lai

That wasn’t part of the



The mass murder

the slaughter


the mutilation



excuse me

active killing

shooting spree

of 500 and something

unarmed civilians

with our (un)proud and great american

weapons of massacre destruction


That wasn’t part of the curriculum

That’s what my teachers told me

by neglecting to get to it


When I asked my parents

They didn’t really know what to say

Friends had been drafted

returned forgotten

labeled with

the newest shiniest four letter acronym

letting pharmaceutical companies take care of them


They knew that

They knew America

Had its faults


america, america lullabies justified

their hard work

their first generation identities

and anyways

This one (they were told)

Was complicated

So they had no answers


This fell into

The Nothing Narrative:

Maybe if we don’t talk about it

We’ll still get to be Heroes

It wasn’t until I was

studying in Paradise

I felt the sting of March


The sting of Nothing


The US invades Iraq

I hear one night

After going out for sushi

That I paid for with my hard working parent’s visa


Some of my peers

Who were raised

On america america rhymes

And told they will be Brave

(Who wouldn’t want to be Brave?)

Offer their souls to a life

Of ptsd or early death

For a fight they don’t understand


I know they don’t understand

history class didn’t get to it

And anyways math and science

are more important



Students in Paradise critically read


talk March’s terror

war and peace

our humanity


None of them enlist

We’ll never enlist


But the sing-song rhymes

And pledges of allegiance

America, o America

This land is your land

This land is my land


And yet those left singing

(medicated and dead)

will always know far more about

The ugliness of war

March’s terror

it’s horror

Than the elite who study it or buy sushi


We both do as we’re told

Both make our way



longing to be brave



America america lullabies

And america america prayers

hushes reason and worships

fundamentalism for the unwealthy

While global Money

graces moments of discussion

and parents entitlement

for rich kids out to dinner


(So) when my kids ask me about Iraq

I won’t know what to say

(The Nothing Narrative)

I’ll feel embarrassed for a few seconds

And hope they’ll want sushi


by Vicky Munyoz