Legacy Unto Generations

A Poem by Richard D. Hartwell

What is the litmus test for corporate culpability:
purposeful intent?
feigned ignorance?
unquestioned orders?

Perhaps Choice D, all of the above.

Better yet, a short-form response from Monsanto, Dow,
corporations who are people and must be treated as such:

“We only did what we were asked to do.
We did it to government specifications.
Our Agent Orange, and rainbowed relatives,
killed crops and concealing foliage, just as
it was certified to do; in point of fact, better.
We delivered what was asked of all of us.”

Best of all, an essay from those who sprayed or were sprayed;
who lived to die later or are dying now;
who lived to bear or sire gnarled, twisted, demented, or still-born;
generations forgotten, ignored, or denied:

“We petition the United States Government,
Monsanto, Dow Chemical, et al, to provide
aid and assistance to the . . . “ REMANDED


“On behalf of the People of Vietnam stricken
with the physical and mental ravages visited
upon them by the chemical warfare engaged in
by the United States during the American War,
in concert with corrupt corporations . . . “ DENIED

It’s hard to read the litmus paper, the results are so confusing.

The people of the corporations, who are people, are dying,
(But not the corporations, mind you!)
along with those other people who sprayed and were sprayed,
along with those mangled bodies and minds unto the nth generation.

So many, in both countries, say, “They are just waiting for us to die.”
I know who they are. I know who we are.
I want to know why. I want to know when.
Is there a statue of limitations on broken ethics? EXPIRED

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