This War is for the Eyes of Mothers

July 18, 2012
The surgeon hangs over the body and contorts his face.
The blood on his dog tag casts a macabre shadow
as iron and steel embrace one another.
Then there’s that feeling again. The heart groans as it
Disconnects and moves on.
You never get use to the fade
that grows in a dying man’s eyes.

His duty for the country is to please
the translation between health
and ailment
by surrendering the bullets from wounded soldiers
into those resting with pictures
of daughters in their wallet.
There are too many men, he thinks
I can’t save a man whose carotid artery has been destroyed.
Sanguine release.

Sand bags explode at the whims of horrified boys
Barely mature in their pursuits
as their little brothers lie mute in a bunker that had
every steel rivet undone by the fingernails of God
Alas, this is not God’s war.

Dirt exhales and kindly kisses the faces of petrified boys
idly entangled in barbed wire.
All unmoving but the dirt of their boots
gently falling off
as they touch at attention like
old comrades.

A soldier looks on inside this bunker.
Sitting quietly, he sees it all, although, right now
His attention is drawn like a curtain closing a play
Towards the man on the gurney who’s last feeling
will be the surgeon’s warm breath on his dimming face

The thoughts of the soldier are in motion,
grappling to recover the men in his mind
that died with their
mothers’ last names
and the names
of other mothers’ sons
covered in the blood
names that sons’ want discovered when they die
To prove they did what they had to.

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