War Birthed Me
(or anthem of a baby boomer)

War birthed me
As a babe I was swaddled in it
Rocked by fission
Wise men reeled like drunks
when I was just learning to smile
By the time I was six
war was as familiar as my mother’s voice
War was always becoming
winding itself around me like a fine wire
Growing up was to arm
I expected a war of my own
and was not to be disappointed
Still, my mind was a bundle of tricks
when chance recruited me
Moral instinct not mute
only buried
In uniform I was awkward
knew shame
And yet
I carried war in my blood
In or out of service
I was at war
Even today
every day war explodes in my brain

                    Michael Uhl

First Annual Anthology, The Live Poets Society, May 1996