David McLansky

(5/24/1944 / New York City)

I celebrate Your Safe Return

I celebrate your safe return,
From the daily horrors that were your concerns:
The dread assembly of body parts
The broken limbs, the blasted hearts;
The blackened skin of bodies burned,
The torsos filled with crawling worms,
A mangled leg, booted, laced,
The empty sockets of a face;
These were chores o’er which you labored,
To join the limbs that had been severed;
To gather up the torn remains
The fractured skulls, the leaking brains;
To once more make them seem coherent,
The shield of flesh that was no deterrent;
You packed away the body parts
Assembling then with mortuary art,
To give the coffin the false deceit,
That what was assembled was complete;
The rocky cliffs of Afghanistan
Bares the remnants of a man;
A strip of liver lay in he dust,
A shriveled eye peers in the dusk;
A torn intestine in a rocky outcrop,
That a harried corpsman failed to gather up;
A shattered arm, a bandaged bone,
A souvenir left far from home;
Oh little girl in your army togs,
What horrors in your mind’s been logged

Submitted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Edited: Thursday, June 20, 2013

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  • S.zaynub Kamoonpuri (6/21/2013 12:31:00 AM)

    Oh my dat is a stark dark poem in poetic remorse of d human parts dat must hav been left behind and only an incomplete corpse brought bac home! Awesome and lurid poem and i wish no one eva was killd in bombs. (Report) Reply

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