A True War Story
My friend's uncle
was a Marine in Korea.
His squad came to a cluster of huts,
smoke drifting up from one.
The squad leader ordered him
to go into that hut,
to kill everyone inside.
He stepped cautiously through that door
and waited for his eyes to adjust.
In the dim light he saw a terrified woman,
children huddled up against her.
He squeezed the trigger of his M-1,
emptied it into the thatched roof.
No one spoke
when he stepped back out
through that doorway.
when he told the old people
what he had done,
they gave him a new name:
and made him the Giver of Names
for new born children.
Lost Horse Press, 2009