Friday, July 08, 2005

Supporting Our Troops

Mikaela says:
This poem by war veteran Simon Ortiz reminds us of the living casualties of our government's wars. We liberals know how to support our troops, to witness and understand the humanness of their pain and madness on return. We will continue to remember them in every vote against war and every vote to support VA services, and we will honor and champion the voices of those brave enough to write about the reality of what they continue to face for the rest of their days.

Cherry Pie

We had barbecue beef on buns,
cole slaw with crushed pineapple,
coffee, and cherry pie.
Here in the VAH, at least,
America feeds well the men
it has driven mad.

“My favorite used to be cherry pie.”

“Lemon is good too.”

“When I was a kid at Indian School,
I worked cleaning yards on weekends.
Walking back to campus at evening,
I’d stop at this cafĂ© on Fourth
and order banana cream pie.
Two slices of pie, boy, that was good.”

Deanda hasn’t been yelling lately.
They’ve been feeding him more
and better mind silencers lately.

Kelly offers his cole slaw.
Nobody wants it, shake their heads.
He offers his bread, we shake our heads.
“He’s a dedicated nut,” another nut says.

“The only pie I don’t like
is mince meat, too rich.”

“I wish I was rich.”

“I almost married a rich girl once.
She was from Alabama.”

There’s always something that you almost
did that you should have done.

A cherry pie slips to the floor
off a man’s saucer.
He stands there and everything is gone
from his face except sorrow and loss
and it’s hard to lose those.