Just before the sun went down,
I heard the jingle from an ice cream truck.
Here, it is business as usual,
but in Afghanistan, a bomb just struck.
Tomorrow, the ice cream truck
will make its way down my tree-lined street.
But over in bomb-struck Syria,
little children have no bread to eat.
The next day, the ice cream truck
will once again offer cold, creamy treats
while we wait to hear from Donald Trump
about North Korea via his stupid tweets.
Another day, another ice cream truck;
an absurdity in a world at war.
It would seem to be quite laughable,
but I just cry til I can’t no more.
I’d send you an ice cream truck,
if I thought it would do you any good,
but when you’re fleeing a war torn land
there’s only debris where homes once stood.
One day, that ice cream truck
will drive down my street no more.
We’ll have killed those across the sea
and on our own, we will then wage war.
That day will surely come,
since war is all we know.
And though we killed you first,
where you went, we too shall go.
So to those who lust for war,
and who gloat over all we’ve killed,
the treats in an ice cream truck
are not as cold as your heart so chilled.
Shelby I. Courtland
©2017 Shelby I. Courtland
At around 8:00pm, the ice cream truck jingles its way down my street and I look out down the street and the children are gathering in front of it with their money in hand which they exchange for cold, creamy treats. I cannot help but think of the children in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen who have been killed by bombs dropped on them by our government via the U.S. military. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that soldiers, who have children, can send missiles to foreign lands knowing that there is no way to hit only fixed targets since we all know that ‘collateral damage’ is inevitable in military operations and that they are killing children while expecting only ‘ice cream truck’ experiences for their own. Their children are never to be ‘collateral damage’, otherwise known as the unintended casualties of war. I am sure that the ‘unintended casualties’ of war are most glad to know that they were mortally wounded, accidental like by America’s soldiers who want only ice cream truck encounters for their children. I am sure that those who were blown to bits died knowing that they were just in the way; in the wrong place at the wrong time. There will be no ice cream truck rolling down the street offering them cold, creamy treats; just body bags for those who are more than just bits and pieces.
But here in America, the ice cream trucks are still rolling down our streets, inviting our children to come and pick their favorite cold treat and go happily back to their yards to play while those in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen are praying that the bombing will stop, wishing that they still had homes to go to, trying to remember what it felt like to play and certainly are not hearing the jingle of an ice cream truck as it makes its way down a tree-lined street on a quiet evening inviting them to partake of its cold delights.
I am going to keep this one civil even though I am seething and ready to spontaneously combust over the fact that all is quiet here and there is only the echo of the jingle from an ice cream truck and I cannot know or appreciate the hell that those in foreign lands are being put through thanks to those who are hell bent on making it a fact that this world will never know peace. Oh, the absurdity of an ice cream truck!