Ideals of the Well-Intentioned

Ideals of the Well-Intentioned

A Poem by Vanessa Whiteley

 

A young American soldier
misses her mother
and her home in
Maine
where she skimmed stones
across Sebago lake.
It's where she skinned her knees
falling from that old oak
and had her first kiss
beneath its weathered boughs.

She knows she's bringing
liberty and a better way
of life for the children,
in a land where smoke
still drifts in the sky.
Ahead, she observes
a little boy with bare feet
leading a donkey cart
along the dust and rubble road.

Another soldier in an armed convoy
perceives
America
as the Land of the Free;
he views this desert place
like a fish that views
the sun through water,
only knowing
those he works with
are glad to have him there.

He imagines sweet-scented flowers
and his wife’s loving arms,
as he dreams of a small girl
near a mosque, standing
on a street corner;
she smiles
to see him driving
past her playground
while people hurry to Salah.
He thinks - she is the future.

No. She is the past.
Her ghost marks the spot
where a bomb devastated
her Baghdad school,
where desperate people dug
with bare and bleeding hands
to retrieve their missing children;
her little sister weeps
and wakes screaming at night.

The bare-footed boy
leading his donkey cart
might have been a decoy;
he could've had a bomb
and they with orders not to stop
even if pedestrians
were in their path.
A child’s life was not a risk
worth their taking.

The young soldier's ideals
shattered on impact,
as one more dead child
was enrolled on the list
of those that do not count;
perhaps somewhere
a war-weary teacher
noted another empty desk,
another missing pupil 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2008 Vanessa Whiteley


My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register




Featured Review

This a very powerful and succinct poem that gathers emotional impetus in the vivid ending. The phrases like 'bleeding hands' and 'The bare-footed boy leading his donkey cart'. Those are filmic images. I especailly like the phrase 'ideals shattered on impact' too, as it suggests the guns.


Posted 16 Years Ago


6 of 6 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

They say the road to hell is paved with good intention as your words so eloquently illuminate.
How many innocents must die before men realise they are only losers in war

Posted 16 Years Ago


5 of 5 people found this review constructive.


I've been sitting here through a grilled cheese sandwich crunchy and hot, trying to review this work. It is a detailed picture of how things are and how they are seen. Leaving me wondering which child died, and how. and I wonder
how many children died in the blitz? how many died in the retaliation for the blitz? Terrorism tries to kill children
the more the better it's called terrorism for a reason. There are no restrictions in terrorism and to actually try a terrorist in a court of law is beyond my comprehension. That said I return to the work of review. Is there a purpose
or motive for writing this other than to show the world how insane it has become?

Posted 16 Years Ago


5 of 5 people found this review constructive.

Powerful and emotional. Your images are superb.

Posted 16 Years Ago


5 of 5 people found this review constructive.

This a very powerful and succinct poem that gathers emotional impetus in the vivid ending. The phrases like 'bleeding hands' and 'The bare-footed boy leading his donkey cart'. Those are filmic images. I especailly like the phrase 'ideals shattered on impact' too, as it suggests the guns.


Posted 16 Years Ago


6 of 6 people found this review constructive.


2
next Next Page
last Last Page
Share This
Email
Facebook
Twitter
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

390 Views
14 Reviews
Rating
Added on February 8, 2008

Author

Vanessa Whiteley
Vanessa Whiteley

Bristol, England



About
Born in 1560 in Stratford-upon-Avon. I have a passion for writing but my parents wanted me to marry early. I ran away from home to see if I could make my fortune in London as my older brother had d.. more..

Writing

Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..