Poem from Iraq

This poem was written to me from Megan when she was in Iraq a few years ago. It was written while she was in battle, and was about 19, realizing that though she thought herself "street smart", she was not ready for what she was encountering.

My small hands grip
the warm plastic
of the hand guards
on my eight pounds of steel,
pure killing power.
The sounds around me
grip my heart.
I fear I will not kiss you
one last time.
I look at your picture,
polaroid, smiling,
radiant red hair,
gleaming waves of beauty.
Your serene smile,
of sadness and hopefulness
for a better day.
Your struggles show
in your bright, piercing eyes,
knowing unspoken truths
never to be unleashed
from your amazing mind.
I quickly wipe away tears
and focus on my current fiasco
hiding behind the barn.
Too steep, I'm sliding,
strong legs becoming rubber.
Fear cannot grip me now.
I must show true strength
to survive this fiery nightmare.
I don't feel him coming
but I know he's there.
Crosshairs on their gridsquare
wishing death upon us.
These brave warriors,
individual strengths showing
at this time of melancholy.
My lungs fill with dry air
which previously breathed
your intoxicating aroma
of Poison and courage.
Now breathing shallow and rapid
I imagine myself in your arms,
small again, in my carefree
childhood days.
You are my courage, strength,
and motivation.
I run, duck, and sweat;
fear melting away
as the sounds cease.
I will see my mother once again.


Karyl Howard said…
Patti -- Your postings about your daughter make my heart ache for you, for her and for all of the other young (and not so young) men and women who have served their country and, of course, for their children. We are not doing the right things with and/or for them, for ourselves and for the world. I'm tired of the lip service coming from the current administration and hope that the elections next week will deliver the same message. Stay strong!
inventivesoul said…
I remember you shared this poem with me a while back.
Or one just like it.
It screams for justice.
It screams for love.
And it screams of Megan's strength and perseverance. As I type this I hear machine gunfire in my head as I tap the keys and realize that she LIVED through that crappy ordeal.
I really appreciate her strength.
I am hoping for her to LIVE even better now.


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