Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
September 3rd, 2015 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 294,687 comments.
Yusef Komunyakaa - Prisoners

Usually at the helipad
I see them stumble-dance
across the hot asphalt
with crokersacks over their heads,
moving toward the interrogation huts,
thin-framed as box kites
of sticks & black silk
anticipating a hard wind
that'll tug & snatch them
out into space. I think
some must be laughing
under their dust-colored hoods,
knowing rockets are aimed
at Chu Lai—that the water's
evaporating & soon the nail
will make contact with metal.
How can anyone anywhere love
these half-broken figures
bent under the sky's brightness?
The weight they carry
is the soil we tread night & day.
Who can cry for them?
I've heard the old ones
are the hardest to break.
An arm twist, a combat boot
against the skull, a .45
jabbed into the mouth, nothing
works. When they start talking
with ancestors faint as camphor
smoke in pagodas, you know
you'll have to kill them
to get an answer.
Sunlight throws
scythes against the afternoon.
Everything's a heat mirage; a river
tugs at their slow feet.
I stand alone & amazed,
with a pill-happy door gunner
signaling for me to board the Cobra.
I remember how one day
I almost bowed to such figures
walking toward me, under
a corporal's ironclad stare.
I can't say why.
From a half-mile away
trees huddle together,
& the prisoners look like
marionettes hooked to strings of light.

Share |

Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 6927 times | Comments and analysis of Prisoners by Yusef Komunyakaa Comments (76)

Prisoners - Comments and Information

Poet: Yusef Komunyakaa
Poem: Prisoners

Comment 76 of 76, added on September 3rd, 2015 at 12:55 AM.
nwyOMRvlwsILFZCjZK

Brz5WY Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and also the rest of the site is extremely good.

crorkservice from Ghana
Comment 75 of 76, added on September 2nd, 2015 at 10:33 AM.
YBYCVqicqnf

TyBLMI Very good blog article.Thanks Again. Awesome.

crork backlinks from Greece
Comment 74 of 76, added on May 29th, 2015 at 11:27 PM.
nCQczHUcXiGv

T6RsZT wonderful issues altogether, you simply gained a new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your submit that you made some days ago? Any certain?

crorkzz service from Singapore

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, Prisoners, has received 76 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Komunyakaa Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links