Call of Duty

by Joshua W. Davis

A man rushes home from work
to sit before his Playstation 3,
He logs in and links up with others
who may be across the street or across the sea.
But they join together as one,
and to a common cause they commit:
to wander around the cyber-Middle East
and blow-up a bunch of shit.
With fantasy weapons in their fantasy world
they are a force that none can withstand.
They sow cyber-terror in the cyber-hearts
of the cyber-Taliban.
After an hour, his wife calls for dinner
and the man logs out with a sigh,
for there's no greater joy after a day at the office
than to realistically grease some guy.

Away far off around the world
an Afghan woman looks to the sky.
She squints and scans the horizon
and silently asks her God, "Why?"
"Why now these American soldiers
bringing their new reign of terror?
Why their uranium bullets all over the ground
and their demonic drones in the air?"
"After the Soviets and the Warlords,
haven't we suffered enough?
Why must our lives, like this landscape,
be always so rocky and rough?"
"You are the All-Merciful, the All-Loving,
so today, please show us your love.
Be merciful, don't let the demonic drones come
and rain down their death from above."
In the distance a voice calls her name,
her child, and she turns to go,
thinking "Maybe today the soldiers won't come.
Maybe, you never know."

At a military base in Nevada
PFC Jacobs sits down.
He's just chugged two cups of coffee
and he's ready for another round.
He flips on the screen in front of him
and it flickers to glowing life,
showing him a runway on an airbase
somewhere deep in the Land of Strife.
He cracks his neck and wraps his fingers
around the familiar joy-stick;
he's got a mission to destroy some Taliban schmoe
and he's damn well gonna get that prick.
He steers his drone out onto the runway
and reports that he's taking off.
An hour later he's targeting a shack so rickety
even Ted Kaczynski would scoff.
But he saw some fucker go in there
and he thinks that it might be his guy.
So he centers the shack in his cross-hairs
and lets his missiles fly.

From her kitchen she hears the explosion,
then the high-pitched, fearful wail
of a woman she knows, and she knows what has happened
without having to hear the tale.
It was the woman's last son, her youngest,
and he'd just gone to feed the goats
in the tumble-down shack on the side of the hill
when he was slaughtered by remote.
He was a good lad, in the bloom of adolescence,
just barely turned fifteen.
But all the Afghan woman can think
is, "thank God it wasn't me."

Meanwhile, back on the home-front
the dinner time dishes are done.
The domestic obligations wrapped up for the evening,
now it's time to get back to the fun.
Oh, how we love our flat-screens with their Hi-Def,
our surround sound and our trusty Wi-Fi,
for there's no greater thrill for an American
than to realistically grease some guy.

Epilogue:
"The U.S. Military reports that another Taliban war-leader was killed yesterday in Afghanistan by drone air-strike. The Military is denying reports of civilian casualties, saying that the only collateral damage from the operation were two goats. A Military spokesperson said that the owner of the goats may receive monetary compensation for their loss. This is NPR."

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About Joshua W. Davis

Joshua W. Davis's picture

Biography
Just your typical Montana boy.