Friday, March 16, 2007

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness Day 42

A member of a U.S. Marine Honor Guard hands the United States flag to family members and Kortni VanSlyke (3rd L) at burial ceremonies for her husband Marine PFC Bufford Kenny VanSlyke at a cemetery in Bay City, Michigan, March 12, 2007. VanSlyke was killed at a checkpoint in Fallujah, Iraq.

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (UNITED STATES)


Birds Again

by Jim Harrison


A secret came a week ago though I already

knew it just beyond the bruised lips of consciousness.

The very alive souls of thirty-five hundred dead birds

are harbored in my body. It’s not uncomfortable.

I’m only temporary habitat for these not-quite-

weightless creatures. I offered a wordless invitation

and now they’re roosting within me, recalling

how I had watched them at night

in fall and spring passing across earth moons,

little clouds of black confetti, chattering and singing

on their way north or south. Now in my dreams

I see from the air the rumpled green and beige,

the watery face of earth as if they’re carrying

me rather than me carrying them. Next winter

I’ll release them near the estuary west of Alvarado

and south of Veracruz. I can see them perching

on undiscovered Olmec heads. We’ll say goodbye

and I’ll return my dreams to earth.


- - -


note: I recently used another photo of this family in this diary. Twenty-one is too young an age to be a widow.

6 comments:

RubDMC said...

for peace

anniethena said...

For peace

I witness

ask said...

I witness.

moira said...

peace

musing graze said...

Witness.

Survivors
by Ch'oe Young-mi

As if tracing a perfect, pre-destined route,
the bird soars

through the air,
turning that clich├ęd blue sky blindingly blue —

that afternoon sky
under which I am going postmodernly mad

A gaggle of customers stuck outside the restaurant throng
round the door
unable to queue.

Translation by Sarah Maguire.

Wasim said...

I witness