Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I think about you all every day. I'm typing here and you are dying there. I think about you all every day.

I think about the children of soldiers.
I think about the Iraqi children. I see their large dark eyes when I look at my children.
I think about the Iraqi mothers. I hear their voices trying to keep their children and their husbands safe.
I think about the grandparents. I see them ending their lives on a note of despair.
I think about the parents of our soldiers. The wives and husbands, lovers, known or secret. I think about the children. I think about all the books that are being laid down for the stories of heartbreak and emptiness.
I think about our President.
I think about his girls.
I think about Jenna Bush and her lovely wedding.
I think about Condeleza and wonder what she is thinking.
I think about the desert sand and how hot and hard the wind is, like a hand.
I think about IEDs. Their particular tortures.
I think about Mickey and the list of initials tattooed on his arm.
I think about soldiers going back, into a hell they just left.
I think about the babies unborn in their mothers, Iraqi babies, spilling out onto the sand already full of blood.
I think about the alcoholic soldier on ' Intervention ' whose father wept as he held his drunken son, in another stupor and blackout, running from what happened to him across the ocean.
I think about my friend James, three years old, and his older brother, who found out that their father wasn't coming home. I think about his older brother's nightmares, how he dreams of his father in pieces.
I think about the physical pain, and I stop thinking.

I wonder if this kind of thing will ever end, like everyone has wondered from the time it began- war and it's deaths and rapes and suffering and mutilations.
I am exhausted and ashamed, because all I am doing is thinking and feeling,
and none of this is happening to me. There's nothing for it. I just write and pray and tell soldiers thank you, even though it feels like the stupidest thing to say, thank you for dying and suffering and watching it all,
so I didn't have to.
Arlene said...

hi maggie,

a very late thanks for the dropping by my blog -- i'm as sluggish with replies as well as updates.

i'm really happy that you've started submitting your work around. the more you've got out, the merrier. i tend to fill the waiting time by submitting more work. at one time, this got me four rejections in a single day. but it's part of the game, i guess.

i look forward to reading more of you work around. i love your poem in coffee press journal!

and hey, we're in the same age group: 33 (going to 34).


Megan Coyle said...

war is indeed a terribly dark and dismal thing.

kwaller said...

this piece left me in tears. your words are always powerful.


Your blog is amazing I adore the set up.

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