Dropping Bombs

“Let’s eradicate this cancer,
drop your bombs
and wipe it out!”
The nurse smiles at his
enthusiasm, amazed at his positive
attitude — stage four,
telling jokes very day — as she
inserts the needle and releases
the poison hope.
She was working third shift
in the ER last night when they brought
the boy in, maybe seventeen,
needle marks between his toes.
He kept mumbling “one more
bomb, just one more…” until
his eyes rolled back. His parents
never suspected he had
experimented,
much less graduated.
She cried
in the car between shifts,
pausing between sobs when
the jets passed overhead,
wanting to be strong.
He had called Wednesday night,
warned her it would be a while
before they talked again, time
to get to work.
Around Mosul and on both sides
of the Syrian border nervous eyes
scan the skies, wondering
if political promises will come
to fruition.
I was walking the dog
in the front yard when the nurse
across the street pulled in
her drive — at about the same time
she had left the day before —
gave me a weak smile
and wave as she hurried into
the house.
The bomb the dog left
on the lawn seems to define
the whole damn mess.

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14 Comments

Filed under Poetry

14 responses to “Dropping Bombs

  1. I think I teared up a bit. Moving.

  2. I can’t click ‘like’ because the extended metaphor of bombs makes my flesh creep. What can we do from our comfy lives to stop the mayhem?
    You have a missing h in line 15 -, between is toes.

  3. HK

    And I like the images which make the flesh creep. Those are important.

  4. So many kinds of war in the life of your poem with the nurse a perfect metaphor – nice

  5. Bombs have so many different meanings in your poem. (The first one especially saddened me.) Mostly serious, but nice to have the ending provide comic relief!

  6. Clever use of the extended metaphor. I also like the focus on the nurse, someone we often forget.

  7. yes…the dog bomb def defines the whole mess…interesting the mix of bombs you drop in this…and how they all build on the feeling of that nurse…coming home…alone…one more time…in the face of all of it…

  8. This poem will stick with me – the stories in it are going on around us all the time – the neighbor with bone cancer, the child with amputated leg, the determined hopefulness of us all that we will live to see another day, another year….and those who dont. A powerful write.

  9. There are war all the time.. Working as a nurse or doctor you meet the wars every day.. Maybe the dogs bomb is a small detail not to be upset about..

  10. inspired, with a perfect close ~

  11. i liked how you brought out the daily battles in life… nice streaks of humor

  12. I wonder that so many of our terms relate to items of war. Beautiful poem.

  13. Interesting piece- love the variety of bombs that are falling throughout it.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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