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Back from Iraq 4/04

by Carl Palmer

my son just got back
from his second tour in Iraq

no ticker-tape parade
no welcome home celebration no media coverage

“Good Morning, America” didn’t spoil breakfast with the newscast
no one should see the caskets
the 23 flag draped caskets

they did show pictures of prisoner abuse that day
and the next

my son just got back
from his second tour in Iraq

the first time my son came home was with fanfare
every channel “Mission Accomplished”
resounded the banner behind our president
thumbs up dressed as a genuine military man

my son just got back
from his second tour in Iraq

that day a television commercial approved by John Kerry
condemning jobs sent to other nations
not mentioning his wife of Heinz fame
nor the 23 flag draped coffins

the stock market reported an upward surge in Halliburton that day
the day my son got back from his second tour in Iraq

my son was on that plane
serving on the flight crew
with the 23 flag draped caskets

my son just got back
from his second tour in Iraq

23 other sons just got back from their tours in Iraq
they won’t have to return
but my son most certainly will

Carl “Papa” Palmer, president of the Tacoma Writers Club, nominee for three Pushcart Prizes and two Micro Awards, from Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, VA, now lives in University Place, WA.

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