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December 29th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 282,504 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.

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Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 6609 times | Comments and analysis of Prisoners by Yusef Komunyakaa Comments (69)

Prisoners - Comments and Information

Poet: Yusef Komunyakaa
Poem: Prisoners

Comment 69 of 69, added on December 21st, 2014 at 2:25 PM.
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crorkzz from Cyprus
Comment 68 of 69, added on September 24th, 2014 at 9:21 AM.
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crorkz from Yemen
Comment 67 of 69, added on August 1st, 2014 at 6:21 PM.
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W73noX Great article.Thanks Again.

crorkz linkz from Saint Vincent and the Grenadin

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