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28 May 2012 @ 10:34 am
In memory of a grunt Bob couldn't save.  
I remember how your voice wept

I remember how your voice wept
when you told me
.
His balls were gone
.
His leg, too,

a bloody stump.
The skin flapped and sprayed

blood all down the side of your ship
over the gunner and the gun.
You flew as fast as was humanly possible
mechanically possible.

He still died.

The wedding ring on his left hand glinted
as they flipped him onto a stretcher

and headed for the body piles.

A horrible story.
I wept for you inside

but then I had to go make supper,
sing Jack to sleep
wash the dishes
do my homework
run out to buy the quart of whiskey that let you sleep
for a few hours between 1 or 2 AM and your 8 o’clock class
which you could barely sit through even with two stiff whiskeys
under your belt.
And after all,
it was just a story to me—
something awful that happened to you
on the other side of the world—
Not real
BLOOD
running down the side of the helicopter
not real
BALLS
blown away
not real
DEAD HAND
with the wedding ring glinting
Him.
ME.
HIM.
ME.

                                    ©1989 Patience H. C. Mason

 
 
 
Rose Greenolmue on May 28th, 2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
War is such a horrible thing. It's good to honor veterans and active military. But just as strong to me is the hope that someday we can have Peace Day instead, where there are no mangled lives to mourn. Thanks to your husband and all of his fellows.
patty1943patty1943 on May 28th, 2012 03:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Hope you have a good day. I plan to! And I look forward to Peace Day.
Chiara Castelnuovo-McKenziecmcmck on May 28th, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
It sometimes helps a lot to take out the anger in poetry as I know all too well from my own experiences.

Thank you for sharing this.
Amy Butler Greenfieldamygreenfield on May 28th, 2012 08:15 pm (UTC)
That knocked me sideways. The right poem for today. Peace to your husband and all those who've served... and are serving now.
patty1943patty1943 on May 28th, 2012 10:20 pm (UTC)
Thanks Amy. I always wonder if my poems are any good, but I decided to risk it.
asakiyume: corvus coroneasakiyume on May 29th, 2012 12:47 am (UTC)
I truly can't imagine. The wedding ring glinting, and you, meanwhile, with your living but suffering husband.

Thanks for sharing your poem.