ON NOVEMBER 11

by Gil Hoy


"Custer's Last Stand" by Harold von Schmidt. Image source: Smithsonian.

Veterans Day Weekend 2014

On November 11, honor the brave dead

from Afghanistan and Iraq, heroes against
German and Japanese imperialism

and the sacrificed souls in “the war to end
all wars.”

But also thank Custer’s soldiers
for not completing the genocide.

I went to bed and dreamt that Sitting Bull
saw Hiroshima and Nagasaki
in a vision quest

and then dropped an A-Bomb on Washington, D.C.

to stop invading Custer
from killing his women and children
like so many insects.

Upon awakening, I discovered that America
attacked Iraq for weapons of mass destruction

after murderous
pecuniary munitions manufacturers
crumbled twin towers
with their boomerang missiles

because recipients of evil often do evil in return.

Russian troops rhythmically
marched in the Ukraine,
a cruel video
beheaded a journalist,

ruinous bombs reined down
on rubbled villages of the weak,
and a bullet to a private’s leg became gangrene
as sepsis spread to amputation and death.

An obscure philosophy book said
that Custer should have refused
to attack renegades

because the Black Hills were the Lakota’s by treaty

and that God had ordered Custer’s men to lay down
their weapons or be shot for insubordination.

By river rapids, a sweating grimacing squaw
watched the blue cavalry approach as
she gave birth to a red son,

who drew his first breath,
wailed loudly and coveted white milk.


Gil Hoy received a B.A in Philosophy from Boston University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and a law degree from the University of Virginia. Gil also is an elected member of the Brookline, MA Democratic Town Committee, and served as a Brookline Selectman for 12 years. Gil studied poetry at Boston University, and started writing his own poetry in February of this year. Since then, Gil’s poems have been published in Soul Fountain, The New Verse News, The Story Teller Magazine, the Clark Street Review, Eye On Life Magazine, and Stepping Stones Magazine.