Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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Liberal

Liberal
Woman

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Night Poetry

This Veterans' Day I remember and thank all who serve and served our country.

I especially remember my cousin, a US Marine, who served in Viet Nam, and died from the affects of Agent Orange.




The Howl of Orphans

                       --for G.M.

We listened for the car engine
to turn off

in someone’s driveway
there is always an absent car.

Your letters spoke of nausea
burning, bloody

you swore you weren’t
one of us there.

We looked for you
at the kitchen table--

Salami, cheese--your favorites
with a side of politics:

“And I won’t even mention the howl of orphans
that reaches up to the throne of God.” [1.]


All night we sat by your bed,
heard the story of Monkey Mountain,

saw your red-peppered arms,
imagined

heart, lungs, liver--
a cauliflower of organs.

You violently bloomed then
left us with your great

body, under the flag.


[1.] From "The Diameter of the Bomb," Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai







2 comments:

Silverfiddle said...

A sobering poem.

There are a multitude of reasons for not rushing off to war.

Too many never stop to consider the personal toll, on families and individuals.

Beware those beating war drums who have never been to war.

I sat with two old Marines and had coffee a few weeks back after going shooting one Sunday.

They both lamented supporting Bush's wars. Many of us do, even those like me who participated in them. They want us out of Afghanistan now. And they are battle hardened Korea and Vietnam vets.

Yes, we need to smash those in Afghanistan who plotted 9/ll, and then we needed to leave.

The rightness or wrongness of a war takes nothing away from the courage and sacrifice of those who participated in them.

May God bless the soul of your cousin.

Rational Nation USA said...

War, engaged in to defend a nation and her people is a noble pursuit. War for the purpose of gaining influence or control, or empire is not.

In the case of either those who
answered the call are deserving of their nations gratified and the highest honor.

A profoundly moving poem. May your cousin rest in eternal peace.