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Sunday, March 20, 2011


by J. D. Mackenzie

The invasion began in the early hours of March 20, 2003 in Iraq.

With all the reminders that I’d forgotten
our anniversary, my first thought was
how insensitive of me.
This day meant so much to us both.

I’d neglected the date
made no special plans
but couldn’t forget this time of year.
The whole world remembered it, too.

I didn’t get you a card, never thought
to ask you what you wanted.  It wouldn’t
surprise me if you felt that I didn’t care
because every year degrades your dignity more.

Confession: I took you against your will.
You’re a battered woman in a torn burqa
who deserved better than this, but I can’t seem
to let you go because breaking up is hard to do.

On March 20, 2003 our relationship got off to a rocky start.
The statues came down, the banner bleated
Mission Accomplished and all that that pretended.    
Do you remember your ephemeral smile, through tears?

Can we agree ours is a relationship
that can’t endure another year because
both of us know that it just isn’t working?
Can this be the last anniversary
we don’t celebrate together?

J. D. Mackenzie remembers the invasion of March 20, 2003 and a few days later the then-President Bush II prancing about an aircraft carrier deck in front of the Mission Accomplished banner.  If media folks and political leaders neglect to get this story right, it's up to poets...