Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Pond Heron

The dead don’t write.
But my cousin’s letter
comes three days after he’s blown away
by some kid in his own platoon.

Maybe another Georgia boy
who’s never been so far from home
and is scared out of his mind

so scared he shoots at anything
that moves in the shadows.

The letter feels thin
light for my cousin’s voice.
He describes water lilies

sheer petals that rise
from muddy fields and spread
before the sun.

He speaks of a Chinese pond heron
that hovers on hinged legs

at the water’s edge.
Never mentions the horror

screams from seared bodies
stench of napalm and burning flesh.

I weep
clutch the letter for what
it can not give.


Rebekah said...

oh wow.

I can't believe I didn't read this yesterday. This one is wonderful.

Thank you for sharing it.

btw, had a fabulous time last night!

Pris said...

This one is so powerful! I've read it over and over again.