Poetic Afterthought – D. Nelson

Several days ago, a woman who posts at a pro-cannabis web site I attend, received a call from the military.

She was initially told that her son, the youngest of three children, and a soldier in Iraq, had been ‘shot.’

She spent the next two days in limbo, first being told that he’d be fine, then being told that it was an IED blast and that he was in critical condition and intensive care.

This morning or last night he died.

Corporal Jonathon XXXXX. He and another corporal in his unit both passed away from their injuries suffered in that blast.

Another death putting blood on the hands of GW and the PNAC.

She is on a limited income, prefers to use cannabis as pain-reliever, but can rarely find it or afford it, and can’t afford the pills that the Docs give her instead.

She is a single, working mother, having raised three children.

She is representative of the lower-middle-class core of the extended families of those in uniform right now; under-privledged, lower incomes, and few resources. The military persons who finally spoke with her yesterday evening told her that they could offer counseling, and would pay for half of her son’s burial, though she’s apparently unaware of her son’s basic life insurance policy, issued by Uncle Sam, that might cover some of these expenses.

For what ever reason, the effect of this has been profound.

I haven’t written any quality poetry in some time now, and don’t know if this is suitable. I won’t give it to her yet, as she’s not ready to read this, in my biased opinion.

Tokin’ Mom of Three 12/06/06
There’s a hole in her heart
That the Doctor can’t fill
She can’t find the weed
And she doesn’t want a pill

There’s a vacuum of memories
Swept away by a blast
She thinks of his voice
From when he called last

She looks at his face
From early school days
The little hand print
And his buddies all at play

The empty room’s bed
Where he used to sit and read
Where she tucked him in at night
And tried to hear his needs

The old baseball glove
and little football cleats
Next to framed prom pictures
And clean satin sheets

Folded on the chest
Where his clothes used to be
Next to the spot
Where he’d kneel on one knee

Saying bed time prayers
As a tiny lil’ guy
Hoping for his family
And pleading with the sky

Books on his night stand
Dr. Seuss and Old Yeller.
He died a young man
But she mourns that little feller.

Dirk Nelson

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