I stumbled across Amalie Flynn’s work about a month ago and was stuck by the stark beauty of her poetry. Her memoir, Wife and War will be released on 9/11/13. Her writing was featured by The New York Times At War and by TIME. She also blogs for The Huffington Post. Read more of her poetry at her blog. Ventricle, is published with permission of the author.
When a soldier deploys to war,
He goes to a country with
Bombs and bullets, and wears
Kevlar body armor, with plates,
A ballistic chest plate covering
And when a soldier patrols a town,
He carries his M4, like a limb, and
Enters compounds made of sand,
With corridors that wind around
Like arteries and veins.
He knocks down doors, each one,
A valve, and inside, this chamber,
A dark room, with families inside,
Women, children, and men,
Men who say, this is our home,
Pointing to it,
The darkness that surrounds them,
This room where they live,
A ventricle, and the land outside,
Full of blood,
Like a heart.