I was cleaning out some old folders on the computer last night and ran across some poetry I had written a few years ago for my first poetry studio class in college. I found this poem, and although it hasn’t been revised (calling all literati: please critique!) in awhile, I thought I’d post it. Written three years ago, not long after the War on Terror commenced, I think it’s strangely apropos today.
Mortar shells fly gracefully through the desert
air. In the living room, Tom Brokaw furrows his brow
and ekes out sympathy for one more casualty.
In the kitchen, the mother of three listlessly stirs macaroni
in the pot her mother gave her on the day she found out
her daughter was pregnant. She will be told soon
that to wear bravery you have to drive your transport
over a land mine, roll a few times, crawl out and face
a firing squad who will instead slit your throat
and, with a twist of your neck, leave you crumbled
in the sand. Then it will be her turn to sit and listen
to Taps and finally understand it, feel the bugle
under her skin, grasp the starched flag, and teach her children
not to hate.