When I hear the news,

About the massacre in Kandahar,

About how seventeen Afghans were killed,

Shot, in their homes, in the middle of the night,

I am standing in my kitchen, eating an orange,

Peeling back the skin, and, then, tearing if off,

In pieces that are as thick as human cartilage.

And when I see the photograph of a boy,

This boy, who is wrapped, in a blanket,

Lying, there, in the back of a pickup truck,

Lying across my computer screen, dead,

His face turned to the side, eyes closed,

And his feet, bare and still and resting,

Side by side, like he is asleep,

I cannot breathe.

And it is the middle of the night in America.

And I know it should be dark, here, by now.

So I am turning,

Turning off my computer,

Turning off the television,

A light left on in the living room,

Turning at the end of a hallway,

To stand watch, between the bedrooms

Of my two sons, both asleep,

Safe, their faces facing doors,

And roads, that are far away,

Far away from war,

Or later, when I cannot sleep,

How I will turn over in bed, to face him,

My husband, who was sent over there,

To fight this Global War on Terror,

And how I will always think about it,

A pickup truck, that boy, and this globe,

Half covered in war, bloodied and ours.

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3 Responses to Ours

  1. asoulwalker says:

    I wish I didn’t know and couldn’t relate. War is a terrible thing.

  2. Jason A Creech says:

    There is terribly beautiful imagery here and a heart-lifting, heart-breaking economy of meaning.

  3. A wonderful new piece, great work indeed.

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