poem: Wreaths

poem: Wreaths

A Chapter by Marie Anzalone
"

for someone I lost

"

Wreaths

for VY

 

 

How dare you dictate, to me,

the way I should feel about those kids

fighting over there for your political moves?

Just because it is far easier to rally around anger

and a call to vengeance;

than facts, and temperance-

does not make it right.

Damn it, I want him back- the man

you took from me

and returned a raging boy with a fascination

for arsenals and a love of the bottle;

after his hands were painted with the blood,

of his best friend

who had the audacity to be in the wrong place

at the wrong blasted time.

For I know what it takes to relinquish a loved one

to those burning

endless sands and alien landscapes

where shadows become wraiths

hunting with the intent

to lay wreaths upon the ground

for our kids.

You do not own the bald eagle

and even your Jesus,

I am sorry to say,

never endorsed the flag of any nation.

Nice try.

Patriotism is such a dirty fighting word-

perfect for cornering a thoughtful enemy

into the box with a trapdoor

through which our morality fell

and was hanged

by the neck until dead.

Give me back my man, and give his mother back her son;

then go and tour

a ragged nation where

war’s fist smashed with heavy handed brutality

for decades, and ask yourself-

how great must the damn prize be

to ask anyone to give

this much- their daughters

and sons and dreams;

and landscapes ruint beyond recognition,

in the pitiless gaze of the beast

marching into the deserts past Bethlehem,

in the place

where the ribbons on wreaths

flutter lightly in the breeze-

almost imperceptible

in your blood lust.

It had better be worth your bloody asking price.

Because we’ll endorse cash payments for

technology to kill

but we won’t teach those kids

how to cope with the horror they must live with

when they return

to a land that has forgotten what it means

to look death, especially pointless

in the face and watch it bleed out.

And I tell you it is easier to drop a bomb

than to dig 100 wells

and educate a nation.

So go ahead and tell me I am unpatriotic

but first, give me back the man

you took from me

and tell me again, slowly

so even I understand; 

why your goals

trumped his sanity and the gentle heart he had to give

to this world if only he could remember

how to use it, and stop

waking in the dark to the nightmares

of landscapes slightly less real than your 10th Circle.

I’ll take my eagle back, thank you, at least I know

what they need

to survive.




© 2013 Marie Anzalone



Author's Note

Marie Anzalone
I figured it was time I wrote my first piece about the Iraq War, reading so many from others. No offense meant to any who served or know those who did; in fact, quite the opposite. Please take a moment of silence, when you read this, to honor all who were asked to give for this cause; and if you were one of them, you have a moment from me.

A nod to Yeats' "Second Coming" with the line about the beast marching past Bethlehem

This was written for someone real in my life who I love very deeply.

My Review

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Featured Review

a strong, intelligent cry...
Because we’ll endorse cash payments for

technology to kill

but we won’t teach them

how to cope with the horror they must live with

when they return

to a land that has forgotten what it means

to look death, especially pointless

in the face and watch it bleed out.
Very fine!

Posted 7 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

very good ....I’ll take my eagle back, thank you, at least I know

what they need
...really like this line...but there are a lotta strong points here

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

thanks for reading, gombeggar. I beleive you may have met the person this was written for, once or t.. read more
A powerful piece that fleshes out and points to some valid questions. Loved the nod to YB, the Eagle and Jesus, had to smile at that. This was a different format than a lot of your other work and I thought it worked well. I'm finding that experimenting with how you present your piece is more than important, every tone of the human range of emotion demands its own structure; and poems that don't pass the test in one type of format (otherwise given to the trash) might find a second chance with that particular tweak... Thanks for reposting this one, Marie

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

Thank you for the intelligent and thoughtful review, Diego. I figured you might smile at that refere.. read more
there is severity here
i pour a saki in his honor
it will evaporate

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Marie Anzalone

4 Years Ago

it always does... yet some continue pouring
What a powerful write , the pain and responsibility that war places on loved ones long after the battle is over . powerful lines And I tell you it is easier to drop a bomb
than to dig 100 wells
and educate a nation. Half the problem better to make the other faceless kill and destroy then educate and the pointlessness and loss that war brings for politics is sad and those fighting loose theor lives lims and mind for ideaology.



Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

i teard up reading this. my dads in the millitary but has not been sent to Iraq or Afganistan yet. i wish you and your family the best and i thank him for serving our country.
XD


Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

So powerful! "where the ribbons on wreaths flutter lightly in the breeze- almost imperceptible in your blood lust." a vivid, sobering image, Amazing piece of work. thank you.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

it's good to find this on a day with so much flag waving and mindless devotion. patriotism is fine, but not at the expense we pay in these wars. it's not only human life that's lost. we lose a little humanity. a little truth. a little sanity. there are times one has to just stop and reflect on the benefits and losses. and as the parade is going by, it's important that someone, somewhere has the courage to say " hey! the emperor has no clothes! "

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

There is so much to comment on in this poem that I'm afraid that I can't do it justice. War is just as horrifying as you make it in this work and, you're right, it's undertaken by people who risk very little personally. One thought here really summed it up for me:

"And I tell you it is easier to drop a bomb
than to dig 100 wells
and educate a nation."

War has always returned its troops - when they do return - with horrors imbedded in their hearts and minds. We can hear, see and experience the fury of those who love them in your poem, so it acheived its purpose.




Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

reminds me of when I got back from Iraq and my mom told me I had turned into a bitter old man. My friends just said nothing but later told me I looked like a skeleton and spoke like stone.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Thought provoking, powerful, a poem that renders the heart to reflect! Great work! xx

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on December 29, 2009
Last Updated on May 26, 2013

A Pilgrimage in Epistles: Poems as Letters and Observations


Author

Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xela, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala



About
Bilingual poet, essayist, novelist, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, .. more..

Writing