October 19, 2017
what grief is this
so raw and fresh
but also gone rancid
after these many years

a date nearly passed over
neither forgotten nor commemorated
then a radio sound bite
opens old wounds
a blow
struck by callus words
seeing a child’s eyes
through the cameras lens
a grieving widow
surrounded by a circus

and suddenly i’m back
not quite hearing the words
from your Commander
as they’re read to your widow
before dozens of cameras
and hundreds of people
wondering if this is a funeral
or all some sick charade

in that instant
it could have been
just another school ceremony
i half expected to hear your voice
and wry humor
from one seat away
among that misplaced pomp

once again angry at the scene
every news outlet there
though they seem to have written
another’s death in the headlines
as coming before your own

but what is one day
in a war that wages on
across years and continents
leaving widows and chums
amid a sea of officials’
heartlessly thoughtful statements