Two Soldiers

      I read
      with anger
      today:
      the death of two soldiers.

      Mutilated.
      Throats slit.

      Two mothers’ angels.
      Two fathers perhaps.
      Two men
      two lovers
      their women
      as yet
      unaware.

      The Pentagon denied
      the allegations:

      there is no evidence
      there are no indications

      the men were pummeled with stones.

      A medical examination
      they said
      contradicted witness
      and military reports.

      To the wife
      the child
      the lover
      to the mother
      sitting by the fireside
      looping a ribbon
      to fasten to her front porch
      death is death.
      Murder is murder
      and war
      no matter how portrayed
      is still unhappily war.

      There are no accounts
      that buffer the pain.
      There are no excuses
      no political expediencies
      that restore
      what has been so senselessly lost.

      there is no evidence
      there are no indications

      And yet
      from the day you savaged Iraq
      from the day we lifted our voices
      in mighty opposition
      from the day the Iraqi soldiers
      were killed
      mutilated
      pummeled by weapons of mass destruction
      we have heard
      nothing
      but
      excuses
      political expediencies