One Grenade

“There will be many poems written
in the shape of a grenade”
—John Haines

They’re in a helicopter
or a Hummer
or a plane with an open
bay for the firing
and dropping of weapons
and a soldier accidentally
drops a grenade and it rolls
across the floor
and explodes taking both
legs and an arm
of another soldier and
it is a cause for lifelong
suffering and grief and
concern and expense
and therapy and trauma
again and again inflicted
and revisited and subject
to retelling only within
the context of patriotism
and heroism, and yet
that same grenade, had it
been used for murder
domestic or personal
back home, there would
be universal condemnation,
although to be fair to that
grenade it was like a pet
pit bull, and did only
what it was made to do.


Poem © 2006 David Ray. All Rights Reserved.

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade, Creative Commons License, found on Flickr.


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