Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
November 28th, 2015 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 305,693 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: 7009 times | Comments and analysis of Prisoners by Yusef Komunyakaa Comments (84)

Prisoners - Comments and Information

Poet: Yusef Komunyakaa
Poem: Prisoners

Comment 84 of 84, added on November 27th, 2015 at 11:23 PM.

UerWjQ Thanks-a-mundo for the blog. Really Great.

crork service from United States
Comment 83 of 84, added on November 27th, 2015 at 10:13 PM.

Gi8Nz6 Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post. Thank you for supplying these details.

crorkservice from Saint Vincent and the Grenadin
Comment 82 of 84, added on November 10th, 2015 at 2:32 AM.

3oFgfg Thanks for any other great post. Where else could anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal means of writing? I ave a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such info.

crorkservice fiverr from Armenia

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, Prisoners, has received 84 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