this diary is dedicated to all who suffer because of war and other disasters

cross-posted at DailyKos, Booman Tribune, European Tribune, and My Left Wing.

image and poem below the fold

Iraqi Suad Abbas attends her injured sister Nathera Abbas, 52 at a hospital in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2005. Unidentified gunmen opened fire on five people, working at the Al-Nissor private security company in the Al-Amiryaa neighborhood of Baghdad, killing one & wounding four others, along with a woman who was passing by, police official said.
(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

by Paul Mariani

After so much time you think
you’d have it netted
in the mesh of language. But again
it reconfigures, slick as Proteus.

You’re in the kitchen talking
with your ex-Navy brother, his two kids
snaking over his tattooed arms, as he goes on
& on about being out of work again.

For an hour now you’ve listened,
his face growing dimmer in the lamplight
as you keep glancing at your watch
until it’s there again: the ghost rising

as it did that first time when you,
the oldest, left home to marry.
You’re in the boat again, alone, and staring
at the six of them, your sisters

& your brothers, their faces bobbing
in the water, as their fingers grapple
for the gunwales. The ship is going down,
your mother with it. One oar’s locked

and feathered, and one oar’s lost,
there’s a slop of gurry pooling
in the bottom, and your tiny boat
keeps drifting further from them.

Between each bitter wave you can count
their upturned faces–white roses
scattered on a mash of sea, eyes fixed
to see what you will do. And you?

You their old protector, you their guardian
and go-between? Each man for himself,
you remember thinking, their faces
growing dimmer with each oarstroke.

– – –
read Ilona’s important diary at MLW – Returning Vet PTSD – One Soldier’s Story

view the pbs newshour silent honor roll (with thanks to jimstaro at booman.)

take a private moment to light one candle among many (with thanks to TXSharon)

support Veterans for Peace
support the Iraqi people
support the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC)
support CARE
support the victims of torture
remember the fallen
support Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors – TAPS
support Gold Star Families for Peace
support the fallen
support the troops
support Iraq Veterans Against the War
support Military families Speak Out
support the troops and the Iraqi people
read This is what John Kerry did today, the diary by lawnorder that prompted this series
read Riverbend’s Bagdhad Burning
read Dahr Jamail’s Iraq Dispatches
read Today in Iraq
witness every day

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