TASTES LIKE WAR – Robert G. Wertzler

January 7, 2021 tasted like war
That day looked like war
Civil War
War on the most essential rule
One that makes democracy possible
Acceptance of election results
A year on the taste of war remains

What is the taste of war?
Bitter
Sharp
Like other intoxicating poisons
Like cocaine
Like meth
Like alcohol
Yes, very like alcohol
And not some fine spirit
Long aged and mellowed in wood
No, war is moonshine
White Lightening
Straight from still to Mason Jar
Raw and strong
An acquired taste, they say

And like those poisons
It has its addicts
And they, their codependents
But no special program
No WA meetings
No Steps to work
Toward sobriety

Photo by Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash


Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

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