Iraq War Syllogism - 14


My name is Earl MacCluskey, Private First Class
And I'm trying hard to hold on to names and dates
And my personal history will be a recitation that they'll have me to do twice daily in therapy sessions

My parents divorced when I was 5
My father sold cars for a living
My mother remarried a welder
He had a beard and he liked to gamble at cards on weekends

I was born in 1981
But all I remember is the sound of a roadside bomb
Nothing after that
They tell me all my friends are dead but it's hard to feel sad when I don't remember them

Also hard to keep my hands off the scar on my head
Extending from above one ear across the scalp to just above the other ear
The bandages are off but the staples are still in and oh how it itches!
In the mirror, my skull looks like a deflated football

So I'm here in Walter Reed Army Hospital
And my mother visits me when she can
So I wear diapers and they tell me there's a plate in my head
One of the doctors calls me "the early bird"
He says I'm one of the first but there will be many more

by Raj Dronamraju

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