Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Throats of Guantanamo

Morning opens with the comforts of my unbeaten body
a tinkerer’s stack of quiltings and cannings the cloth finch

half-attached to a mobile of warblers and wrens
in the meantime my country sends post to mothers and fathers

back again fly a trinity of boys
with their throats torn out

simultaneity drinks twig tea and stitches
a hidden seam

I take a string to a bittern’s back and tie it
to the looping newborn delight

then read of each strangulation no bone or larynx
for proof maybe each part was tossed to bay

a medieval saint was asked what would you do if you knew
it was the end of the world

I’d dig in my garden he said
oh saint it’s a good answer

but here the end is torn out
one by one.

Credit


Copyright © 2013 by Katie Ford. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on August 15, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

About this Poem



"I wrote this poem after reading the Harper's article ‘The Guantánamo "Suicides": A Camp Delta sergeant blows the whistle,’ by Scott Horton (January, 2010); I was pregnant at the time. The poem will appear in my forthcoming book, Blood Lyrics (Graywolf Press, 2014)."
—Katie Ford

Author


Katie Ford

Katie Ford is the author of If You Have to Go (Graywolf Press, 2018), Blood Lyrics (Graywolf Press, 2014), Colosseum (Graywolf, 2008), and Deposition (Graywolf Press, 2002). She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Levis Reading Prize. She teaches creative writing at the University of California, Riverside.

Date Published: 2013-08-15

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/throats-guantanamo