The Poetic Roots of War Games*

The boys and now the girls,
too, stand in lines, feet stomp-
ing, rifles on shoulders, deep
breathing through the nose
Beowulf and exhaling through
the mouth Grendel, shouting
Grendel! Grendel! Grendel!
and Oorah! Hoorah! Hooyah!
and then they leave the field
with torn limbs of the vanquish-
ed lying all over the ground,
blood soaking into the soil and
the drill sergeant shouts, “Good
work, macho, macho men and
(in hushed tones as if not even
to be heard) macho men in
the making girls.”

*idea from a meditation by
Matthew Fox

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