War Babies


War babies are babies
who make war
without knowing what war is.

War babies make war
on nature,
on drugs,
on anyone who crosses them,
on each other.

War babies have guns
that are big and mean.
War babies have money
that won’t buy them more time.

War babies hit a telephone pole
at 100 miles an hour,
and expect to walk away.

War babies stay babies
because they don’t learn.

Oh look, they’re doing it again.


–Harriet Ann Ellenberger, 11 February 2016


Published by

Harriet Ann Ellenberger

writer, editor, translator; co-founded the journal "Sinister Wisdom"

4 thoughts on “War Babies”

  1. Yes, expect to walk away. No sense of consequences–a necessary source of violence, and usually I think of it as consequences for others, but your line here heightens my awareness that it is in fact always them too.

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  2. Very nice, you cover the essential springs of war, in a way of all violence. I’m so glad to see this poem.


    1. Thanks, Susan. I was so glad it got written — which happened because I was Vesuvius-angry after hearing news the day before of more US bombing, and I had to do something, anything, to regain a little peace of mind.


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