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Friday, March 02, 2007


by Diane Elayne Dees

A few miles from the White House, in Building 18,
a soldier sits in his wheelchair, drooling, but is alert
enough to hear he has been ordered to report
to a base in Germany. No one can find his paperwork;
no one will fix his wheelchair. His platoon seargeant
was just discharged from another wing of Walter Reed.
His eyes are blank, his speech slurred, his concentration
tenuous. The mice are in better health, and show up
more often than the doctors. The roaches, on the other
hand, lie belly up on rotting boards, waiting for someone
to finish their paperwork so they can have proper
autopsies and free up space for the next occupants.

Diane Elayne Dees recently received two Pushcart Prize nominations for poetry. She publishes a blog, The Dees Diversion, and is also a regular contributor to Mother Jones' MoJo Blog.