Great post by Jay Kirell, combat vet and former reporter.
V e t P o l i t i c s
By Jay Kirell
Memorial Day 2014.
Another year, another start to the summer vacation season where America takes a day off to remember those who died in war.
Flags will be flown. Words will be spoken. The dead will be honored.
Being one of the many who served overseas that didn’t die in war, (but came reeeeally close) I have a unique view of death and how we, as a nation honor it.
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January 17, 1991
The day after war begins I
reach to hold, be held
beneath the crescent sliver of waxing snow moon
I feel your chest press retreat as we embrace
silken hair weaves through finger-
tips. Men and women die
in a city no longer theirs no longer
home. Your arms wrap me
as water holds wreathes
and Iraq retaliates,
missiles strike Jerusalem,
ten year old girl cries within the brown
mantis face of her gas mask.
Pressed peach of our cheeks
parts my lips near the tenderness of your neck—
I want to feel
your breath on my tongue
your tongue as I breathe.
And what of those in Baghdad
Thank you to the editors of We Speak for Peace and Literary Well/Pozo Literario for first and then reprinting this poem, respectively.
Poems, Prose, Photos & the Art of Being Human