I call to you, blood-red Ares, wolf of Thrace,
battle-stained, fury-fired, shield-breaker,
on behalf of those who most need you now:
those returning, those returned, those who have served
their countries with honor in a time lacking honor.
They have been wounded in the fray, their bodies tired,
their limbs missing, their senses shaken,
and their very sanity stolen from them;
and some come with more grievous wounds
received during their decorous sacrifice
because they were done by their fellows in arms
disgracing the gifts of Aphrodite, making them poison.
When they come home, they face an enemy
more difficult to defeat, less honest or straight-forward
than sharpened steel sword’s edge, spear point, or bullet,
with no face, with no life, with no integrity and no soul:
a battalion of bureaucracy, the sorrow of Athena,
and their sword brothers in arms
who, in the Senate, speak thanks from one side
while denying them aid with the other side of their mouths
and signing their degradation with hand happy to do so.
May vengeance of Dike and Themis, at your word, Ares,
and the fury of Nemesis be unleashed upon those
who have deserted their fellows in service
when vain riches and the pomp of office have soured their souls;
may your torches burn bright in the fists
of those who fight for what should be theirs,
and until thanks for the warriors’ sacrifice
be on the lips of all, and be carried out in deed
by the lawless tyrants who hold the reins of state–
until then, Ares, rage on in their hearts!