Denise Levertov

(24 October 1923 – 20 December 1997 / Ilford, Essex)

News Report, September 1991 - Poem by Denise Levertov

U.S. BURIED IRAQI SOLDIERS ALIVE IN GULF WAR

'What you saw was a
bunch of trenches with
arms sticking out.'
'Plows mounted on
tanks. Combat
earthmovers.'
'Defiant.'
'Buried.'
'Carefully planned and
rehearsed.'
'When we
went through there wasn't
anybody left.'
'Awarded
Silver Star.'
'Reporters
banned.'
'Not a single
American killed.'
'Bodycount
impossible.'
'For all I know,
thousands, said
Colonel Moreno.'
'What you
saw was a bunch of
buried trenches
with people's
arms and things
sticking out.'
'Secretary Cheney
made no mention.'
'Every single American
was inside
the juggernaut
impervious
to small-arms
fire.' 'I know
burying people
like that sounds
pretty nasty, said
Colonel Maggart,
But . . . .'
'His force buried
about six hundred
and fifty
in a thinner line
of trenches.'
'People's arms
sticking out.'
'Every American
inside.'
'The juggernaut.'
'I'm not
going to sacrifice
the lives
of my soldiers,
Moreno said, it's not
cost-effective.'
'The tactic was designed
to terrorize,
Lieutenant Colonel Hawkins
said, who helped
devise it.'
'Schwartzkopf's staff
privately
estimated fifty to seventy
thousand killed
in the trenches.'
'Private Joe Queen was
awarded
a Bronze Star for burying
trenches with his
earthmover.'
'Inside
the juggernaut.'
'Impervious.'
'A lot of the guys
were scared, he said,
but I
enjoyed it.'
'A bunch of
trenches. People's
arms and things
sticking out.'
'Cost-effective.'


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010



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