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Sunday, February 09, 2014


by Jean Varda

Proximate image source: The New Yorker

               for Sergeant Cory Remsburg

Would you lose an eye, a leg, a hand
to serve your country
to bring us freedom and democracy

Will you lie in a ditch unconscious,
shrapnel in your brain,
to help us understand freedom and
give democracy to the family who
died in the drone strike

Will you lose your hands, your voice,
your mind, so we can understand
the bullets dug from the bodies
of the two pregnant women
the six children laid out on
stretchers, never to open their eyes,
the father who could not protect
them now in pieces

Will you lose your eye,
your leg, your hands,
your mouth
so the children that did
not survive the bomb
will know freedom and
democracy, justice
and equality

Jean Varda’s poetry has appeared in: The California Quarterly, The Berkeley Poetry Review, The Lucid Stone, Poetry Motel, The Santa Fe Sun, Avocet A Journal of Nature Poetry, River Poets Journal and Prompt Online Literary Magazine. She has published 5 chapbooks of poetry, most recently, Carved from Light and Shadow by Sacred Feather Press. Her poem “Sister Morphine” that appeared in Red River Review was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She lives in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California where she works as a nurse and collage artist.