Are We Dead or Merely Asleep?

Are we dead or merely asleep
living our lives?
A war away
thousands of our loved ones
times a hundred more of theirs are
dying in a
war-of-no-clear justification
no provocation
till the deciders' loved ones
are among the loved ones
no child left behind.

Wearing camouflage
thirsting after killing on every scale of screen
we need pills to caulk the cracks
where knowing surfaces
revealing in a hidden casket
a soldier's flashback to a
nightmare that is real
till we awaken rested
to our deadened sleep.

No! Awake with new baby eyes
to look out and cry out
not in a dream’s mute cry but the
full-throated wail of the lovers of the loved ones
as each awakens adding to the chorus
in unison make a pact
if we should see the other nodding off
to rouse each other
shake ourselves from sleep
'til all awaken
to the light of peace.

Abby Sher
October 12, 2006