Arms Race Where All Share the Burdens

Imagine an arms race
where all who now benefit
have to make sacrifice
and live in harsh poverty
to help pay for weapons.
to help pay for war.

Give up their Mercedes
and ride public transit.
Sell sailboats and cruisers
sell off their portfolios
stocks, bonds and real estate
even their nest eggs,
deep in bank vaults
their jewelry, their furs
their bullion gold bars
sell big flashy homes
and cute country cottages

Then rent cheap apartments
scrimp on clothing and food
to help make ends meet.
Never have enough money
for doctor or dentist
for college or university
to help children succeed.
And suffer for many years
discomfort, monotony
and low social status
that goes with being poor.

Make all of this sacrifice
For camps full of soldiers
with tanks, guns and trucks
all over the world.
for rockets and jets
and giant aircraft carriers,
for enormously costly
unseen submarines
for new weapons in space
and up-to-date planning
for nuclear war

How long would they carry
this military burden?
How long would they sacrifice
comforts and luxuries?
How long would an arms race
such as this last?

David Morgan
North Vancouver, Canada, 16 July 2001

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