Fall

Iraq, I tell my husband,

As we stand in our kitchen,

Where he is holding a knife

In his hand and strawberries

In his other hand,

That he grew in the garden

He planted when

He came home from war,

Crossing the lawn like that

In his combat boots, how

He peeled back the grass

Like skin or how the raw

Square of dirt was like a wound,

And I am saying Iraq is falling,

Because one by one,

The cities and towns,

Are falling.

Fallujah and Qaim and Rawa,

Anah and Rutba and Tal Afar,

Sharqat, Hawija, Tikret, and

Suleiman Beg,

How they are falling to terrorists.

And I cannot stop thinking about

How a city or a town or

A country cannot fall.

How it is people, people who fall,

The people who live there, in Iraq,

Shot execution style in the street

Or bombed in their cars or schools

Or houses,

How Iraq is a country of bodies

Falling down dead.

And there are soldiers from America

Who went there to fight, who died

There, or came home only half alive,

Standing in houses and hallways,

Kitchens, in America, with wives,

With children, or no one, saying

I am here,

Even though they feel

Too far gone to ever come home

Again,

And all the talk

About whether,

Whether we will go back to Iraq,

Or whether, whether we should

Have ever gone.

And it is morning here when

I find a nest in our backyard.

And I think about how baby birds

Can fall out of the nest,

And I find my husband,

In the garden again,

Where things are growing,

And I am asking him if,

If the baby birds fall out,

Who, who will pick them up,

The dead birds,

Off the grass,

With a shovel,

Their skeletons small and sharp

Like toothpicks.

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2 Responses to Fall

  1. Army Amy says:

    Wow! Very moving!

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