Christmas in Baghdad

Christmas in Baghdad

A Poem by Fegger

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Is this the place where garland grows,

Among the olive branches low?

Splattered, cindered, clay abode,

Am I so alien?

Encircled those, in khaki drab;

Paying homage to the bags;

Which hold remains of brave, young lads;

Will I feel again?


Surrounded, chains of un-lit lights,

Which only shine in day, not nights;

Illumination betrays the plights,

Should we become aglow.

A tree of polypropylene,

Adorns the tower, so serene;

A branch of steel hid in-between,

That only gunner knows.


The air of diesel, not of Myrrh,

As pre-fab dwellings start to stir,

Indifferent as they observe,

Fading of the Star.

A failed attempt at lone ‘SandMan’

Adorned with boots, bayonet in hand,

Iraqi winds displace his stand,

Re-formed in Kandahar.


T’was yesterday, on Christmas Eve;

A day ahead of promised leave,

When Paul, Eric, Mark and Steve,

Took leisurely patrol.

In Tikrit, where he was born,

Some sixty years before this ‘Storm’,

They’d set-out on this early morn.

Assessing evening’s toll.


Among the buildings, scattered ruins;

Charred men--shadows, on the dunes;

From temples soar cremated plumes;

One hour had gone by.

In the distance, beyond the spire,

Come ‘reports’ of skirmish fire,

Incessant screaming of the dire;

Then screams dissolve to cries.


Approach, inside a city square,

Where once a fountain teemed, right there,

Smoldering flesh, low burning hair;

A family splayed together.

Rank and putrid pieces strewn,

Mother’s face, shrapnel-hewn;

Attending Allah far too soon--

All their hands were tethered.


Domestic dogs, now on their own,

Fight for human flesh and bone;

Such holy image sets the tone,

As chorus strikes ‘Jihad’.

Eric stumbles, exploded knee,

Bearing witness to comrades, three,

Souls reclaimed near instantly;

Christmas in Baghdad.


Is this the place where garland grows;

Among the olive branches low?

How I miss New England snow,

This Christmas in Baghdad.

© 2010 Fegger

Author's Note

Copyright 2010, Fegger

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Very powerful. Indeed, in such situation ,everything is different but hope you did still derive a positive lesson from the experience...You must have felt this one quite strongly.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Wow, just amazing. Well done.


Posted 8 Years Ago

Very profound, very lucid, very painful - a great write. It poetically captures history and the moment. It is something that will be read again and again for those who wish to capture some of the on site experiences of those at life's troubled spots.

Posted 9 Years Ago

wow, to place such depth to a painful, wretched moment..amazing write my friend. i will be reading it several times more. thank you for sharing.

Posted 9 Years Ago

You words ring true not only for Baghdad but for all of those who are away from home when family gathers. How we miss them and sometimes forget how their hearts ache for the familiar as well. I don't know if you've been there or not but thanks for allowing some glimpse into a life many others may not know, or even care, about. A finely penned piece.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Wow the person did good and was deep as to know what its like for those who aren't always lucky to make it home. Descriptions and words flowing and all with feeling galore.

Posted 10 Years Ago

What can one say about this? Without the experience of such an environment, we rely on on observers to relay what is happening to those who take part. We rely on poets to make the connections thast politicians cannot.
Well done.

Posted 10 Years Ago

This is a very beautiful and moving peace. Good job, it shows true, deep emotions.

Posted 10 Years Ago

An insightful piece that conveys truth so very clearly.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Very well written. Of course, I actually have no idea what this sort of thing must be like to experience, but this poem gave me chills.

This line stuck out for some reason:
"Charred men--shadows, on the dunes;"
I think it was the imagery. From this poem, it looks like you're very good with imagery, but the way that this line was so simple made it especially easy to envision, and very effective.

Nice piece of work. This piece was worth reading.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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43 Reviews
Shelved in 4 Libraries
Added on December 8, 2010
Last Updated on December 9, 2010
Tags: war, Iraq, Afghanistan, marines




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