Such a simple word.
Why then does it have such an immense power?
The power to break people.
The power to annihilate.
It rips children from their parents,
Tears lovers from each others’ arms.
It steals our youth
And smears our last days.
It divides the most united people,
Destroys the most beautiful of countries.
It is the greatest of hypocrites.
Some claim to fight for their countries,
Some for their oh-so-loving religion,
And others for their family's honour,
But all are driven by none other
than their own poisonous ego and pride.
And if not the individual,
The institutions sending them
To their certain demise is.
It kills most,
And those who escape it
Are left with a fate far worse than death:
An eternity of guilt and sorrow,
Of agonizing memories
And restless nights
Wondering what could have been.
It is filthy, corrupted and tainted.
Tainted with the crimson blood of the fallen,
The deep scars of the survivors,
The shrill cries of the mourners,
And the money of those in power.
And the greatest of its crimes:
The innocents pay the highest price.
You see those fancy politicians with tailored suits
standing in front of the crowds preaching
about the bravery of the people
who are being desensitised to killing
and taught to not feel or think but just obey?
They are not the ones who lay awake at night
too scared to close their eyes,
too afraid of their own minds.
They are not the ones who were told they were heroes
and yet came home to find themselves without support
sleeping every night on the cold concrete
in front of some big-name store whose owner probably
profited off the same ******* war that led them there.
They are not the ones who will try for the rest of their lives
To heal the generational trauma they inherited from their parents.
No, see those fancy politicians are going to go home tonight
to their big fancy house in their big fancy car protected on all sides.
They are going to have a great night of sleep
knowing they have just gained new funding for their campaign
by sending innocents to the slaughterhouse
so that the CEO of some oil company can make more money.
They are content knowing that
they have successfully put a price on a human life.
A word that should evoke negative feelings
and yet has been so normalized that we no longer respond to it.
A word that describes the most atrocious of realities
but that has somehow been made into a badge of honour.
A word that should be feared and despised
but is instead weaponized to manipulate the people.
A word that should never be the first option
but has become a shortcut for greedy rich people
with political influence to obtain more power and become richer.
A word that was said to be associated with "barbaric", "uncivilized" people
but has somehow mostly been used by the "civilized" ones
and is now one of the pillars of modern capitalism.
Just a ******* word.