Monday, August 3, 2015

Every Day
by Ingeborg Bachmann

War is no longer declared,
merely perpetuated. The outrageous
has become commonplace. The hero
stays far from battle. The weakling
is transferred to the firing zone.
Patience is the uniform of the day,
the order of merit a wretched star
of hope stuck to the heart.

It will be awarded
when the action has ceased,
when the drumfire dies down,
when the enemy has receded from view
and the shadow of eternal amazement 
enshrouds the sky.

It will be awarded 
for deserting the flags,
for bravery in the face of a friend,
for the betrayal of ignoble secrets
and the disregard of every command.

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