We stopped waving our pictures of Bob Hope,
now that the joke has worn thin,
different ways to fly the flag, smile
for the cameras, flash bulbs popping,
headlines made, U.S.O. satisfied
and the men grin
on the face of it,
not wanting to worry the folks back home.
We stopped sending letters, redacted, blacked out
lines, forcing half truths,
or no truths to take hold in lie,
lie, lie, lie
and yet they still sent Bob Hope,
with a smile, with a gag,
for the body bags on both sides
to split the laughter between them.
We stopped Bob Hope from coming,
our messages all in vain,
now they send others
to keep us happy, gung-ho
in this brutal Vaudeville game.
Ian D. Hall 2018