I Tell Him about the Body Bags


He loads the dishwasher, his Mom’s birthday
dinner done. We talk family stuff, his trip
to Boston, has he seen American
Sniper, and I raise the old, not‐quite‐a‐joke,

about Grandma-the-Commie’s antiwar
spouts. Yeah, sure, marching, and organizing,
I worked with Maoists, until they rejoiced
at the body bag uptick. Body bags

would get the public’s notice. Human loss
didn’t matter. Later years when coffins
were unloaded, no observers allowed,
ongoing protests to stop the slaughter,

the real enemy, the danger, the lies,
then we move away to candles and cake.

Meredith Trede lives in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

Posted in: August 2015: The Effects of War, Poetry

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One thought on “I Tell Him about the Body Bags

  1. Beverley Whipple says:

    City & State
    Marshfield, MO
    The pain of our denial and dismissal of so many precious lives lost breaks my heart every day. Your poem speaks that pain brilliantly.

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