Sunday, April 30, 2006

Eyes Wide Open across Pennsylvania

I've volunteered three times now for the Eyes Wide Open memorial, once for the full exhibit when it came to a college campus in the area and twice for EWO across PA. I feel like an Eyes Wide Open groupie. But I feel magnetically, irresistibly drawn to those empty boots and shoes.

It's a sad commentary that the full exhibit now consists of so many empty boots that it cannot tour the country as often. "When will they ever learn?" asks the old song...

EWO across PA was recently mounted on the grounds of a local Friends meeting. Wha
t follows is
A Scrapbook
Boots on the ground
scuffed brown boots

on the green green grass

some stuffed with notes
some bearing pictures...


recruited for their muscle
their quickness
hired to hold a gun
not a pen
combatants have little time for words
yet...
some have left thoughts
scrawled in army issue notebooks
reminders that this bit of cannon fodder
these IED smithereens
were someone's son
or brother or father
others have accumulated words
thoughts
prayers
...so many tears
in their boots

as they march
still march
march though still
from one place to the next

how many
too many
we play the numbers game
as long as more of them
die
than of us
we must be winning

Someone once wrote:
Every war has two losers*
this one has thousands
upon thousands
let their names be read
ours
theirs
--our losses
all

*William Stafford

1 comment:

  1. It's mind boggling that all of this information is out in the open, yet some still back our unlawful presence in the region. In reference to the exhibit, the mosr heart rending pieces are the shoes of those still too young to know nothing but innocence. It's also particularly moving to view the boots of those servicemen who aren't considered young anymore, not that their deaths are any more tragic than those of a younger age, but because you know that most have numerous people at home who depend on them for the most basic needs, and their deaths greatly affect too large a number. (Although 1 is too large a number) SIMPLY TRAGIC! BUT A NEEDED EXHIBIT.

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