No Return, A Heartbreaking Poem about the Soldiers of the USS Indianapolis

No Return

Suspended,
rafts drift with blood
and oil they spread on
their gaping faces.
Dorsal fins flashing, stirring
like soup spoons.

Death waits below,
saucer-eyed, evolved.
Dog tags slink down the
esophagus of the sea,
silver coins shimmer
then vanish.
Faces toward Son,
they that remain uneaten
claw themselves,
beg to be found.

I am here,
settled into couch
you, layed out beside me,
your head in my lap.
You look up at me and flash a silver smile.
Your irises, soft shifting blues,
a hungry mercury sea
drawing me in…
I slip from raft,
soldier to mermaid,
surface to thermocline.

Christina Ward, 2009

USS Indianapolis(pic. from: http://www.ussindianapolis.org)

Author Note: The USS Indianapolis sunk in the last campaign of WW II, on July 30, 1945, just two weeks before the end of the war, when it was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58 Many men lost their lives in the two days they spent adrift. Only 316 men of the 1199 were rescued on August 2, 1945 when they were spotted by a patrol aircraft. This poem was inspired by the plight and suffering of these soldiers and I hope it serves as an honoring of their suffering. To the men and women who serve our country, thank you could never be enough, but it is a start.

Thank you.

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