Dwight Jenkins

I Almost Cried Today - Poem by Dwight Jenkins

I almost cried today, thinking of a friend I know
     Who will never know what I was thinking unless
I tell him. But it was so very long ago...
     And why? He wasn't at that address
When they silently died, profoundly ready to go
     To a place that most knew little of, and some less.
Soon it will be twenty-two years he does not know
     Of the rocking of the ship and the yawning witness
Who saw just a ball of flame in the pre-dawn hour
     Between sunlight and moon, starlight and sea
In the fading half-world of young men's power.
     And then they were gone, the tower
Searching waves for days, the water closing quietly
     Over smiles and pride, victory's sweet and sour.

And I? I simply counted their leftover dollars below decks
Yes, I changed them all back into government checks 
For their loved ones at home, missing loved ones' strong necks...
All was done in the space of an hour.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

A true rendering of one, small, Gulf War story.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 22, 2012

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