H e a r t S o n s & H e a r t D a u g h t e r s of A l l e n G i n s b e r g
N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 1 4 : A r c h i v e s E d i t i o n
Found Poem: Camp Speicher, Iraq
CAMP SPEICHER, Iraq,
the idling Black Hawk helicopter thumping,
the blades above drowning the world,
belongings of four dead soldiers.
A black vinyl body bag—
an American contractor killed,
a suicide bombing in downtown Baquba,
35 miles northeast of Baghdad.
"To feel the weight of your comrade,
to lift the dead body of a fellow American,
who can prepare for that?"
Silence of the horror—waking up to reality.
A technician for the Missouri National Guard,
conducting military’s a “hero mission”,
retrieving from the battlefield
the body of an American soldier or a dead contractor,
with ritual and respect, from instance of death
to the moment bodies are loaded onto a cargo plane.
Cataloging the names, transporting the personal belongings,
40 soldiers pay their last respects
before the bodies are flown to a base in Balad,
On one mission, a chopper and a second Black Hawk
carried six dead American soldiers,
an impossible fit if their bodies had not been so broken
from the bomb blasts.
[Originally published in NHS 2009, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs09/Ali_Zarrin.htm.]