Son of a Ditch
A soldier's mother is obliged to walk in the ditch
alongside the road to Bush ranch
outside Crawford, Texas
or she will be arrested
for walking on the road,
or being a domestic terrorist
for demanding to see President Bush
for wanting to ask him why her son
died in Sadr City,her son Casey.
A national security officer
tells her that George Bush is sad when soldiers
die, but of course, will not meet with her.
Cindy Sheehan wants to ask him
face to face why he took our country
into a pre-emptive war we can't win,
what her son and 1846 other Americans
and 26,559 Iraqi civilians
have been sacrificed for
Marchers are stopped about four
miles from the ranch because
some had wandered onto the road,
had veered out of the ditch
where they were obliged to walk
It is important to see how this country
honors the mother of a 24 year old soldier
who was killed in Iraq.
It is important to witness this soldier's mother who is obliged to
walk in a ditch, camp in a ditch,
hold vigil in a ditch.
Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.
And here is a part of a letter that a reader sent in from someone who attended yesterday's rally in Crawford.
"The rally was incredible- about 1 1/2 hours, with many speakers from Veterans for Peace (started in 1985 by Vietnam Vets), Military Families Speak Out (apparently a taboo in the military to criticize the war, and these folks are being called traitors) and Gold Star Families for Peace. The message was consistent- that the soldiers are being sacrificed for an immoral cause and need to be brought home.
But the strength of the message was in the individual stories- an aunt reading an email from a nephew telling his fiancee to take care of herself during her pregnancy (and then being killed within hours/days of writing the message, with the baby due this September),
a grandmother holding a few months-old baby, born after her son was killed in Iraq,
a mother and daughter talking of their husband/father deployed for over one year with no return date- and he wrote to tell them they MUST attend the rally as it was vital for the American people to know what a waste this war is.
...One really stirring story came from two young veterans, once on active duty in Iraq - at least one is now a conscientious objector and he broke down trying to explain how terrible it was to fire mortars and know you are killing children. I cried over and over today.
The caravan to Camp Casey after the rally was unbelievable- it was like something from a movie (Field of Dreams, only with real meaning)- after I parked and walked to the site, it was at least 20 min (maybe longer) before the last car arrived...a line of cars in both directions on that little country road as far as you could see. . . .Mirrored by the constant hovering of helicopters...often so close and at such an angle you could see the faces of the people inside (Condi was rumored as a passenger...) "
And here is a piece by Frank Rich.
And another by Robert Fisk.
Perhaps those who are suffering,
and those who have suffered,
Are mad as hell,
And they aren't going to take it anymore.
That's what Cindy said.
And the anti war movement is born,
out of a ditch.
What it is About