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3000 – American Mourning Poem

           American Service Men and Woman Dead: 3,000*

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments
leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess
and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

George W. Bush
President of the United States
State of the Union Address
January 28,  2003

Coming Home

In catacombs of military transports
destined for Dover Air Force Base,
loves, beliefs, ideals, plans:
Hancock Community College,
University of Miami,
New York Police Academy,
weddings, children,
barbecues, baseball, bass fishing-
All lidded down inside caskets
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

25-year-old Marine Corps Corporal
St. George, Maine.
Sailor, rock climber, stargazer.
on dance floor, “ . . . like a magnet.”
Loves lobsters, mussels-
All lidded down inside casket
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

30-year-old Army Private First Class
Tuba City, Arizona.
“ . . . young, a single mother and capable.”
Her boy 4 – her girl 3.
Woman proud of her Hopi heritage-
All lidded down inside casket
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

20-year-old Marine Corps Corporal
La Harpe, Illinois.
High school football, basketball player,
lifeguard at health club pool,
lifts weights,
going to be a physical trainer.
Joins Marine Corps Reserve
to pay for studies at Southern Illinois University-
All lidded down inside casket
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

21 year-old Marine Corps Corporal
Gallatin, Tennessee.
Nurses dying mother with his humor,
dresses in clown costume for nieces’ birthdays.
History buff, reads fat books about generals,
presidents, Revolutionary War-
All lidded down inside casket
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

24-year-old Coast Guard Petty Officer
Northport, New York.
Wife, three months pregnant.
Wants to be a policeman like his father.
“ . . . the kind of person that you fall in love with
the minute you meet him,” a friend says-
All lidded down inside casket
carefully, caringly covered with The American Flag

A father, a mother grieve for their only son, an Army Specialist.
“He wanted to be an engineer,” the father remembers.
“He wanted to set up his own business when he got out.
And I says, ‘Amigo, I’m waiting for you to get out
so we can put up our own business.’
And all that, well, you know, is history.”
The Major General carefully, caringly folds The American Flag,
places the nation’s ensign into the mother’s hands

*December 31, 2006

Maxwell Corydon Wheat, Jr. ©

Permission given to use this poem with author credit.
E-mail: Maxwell623@aol.com

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