If war poetry can be beautiful, then Kevin Powers is your poet. Here’s a short poem for Memorial Day.

There are so many war stories and so few that make us stop and think what war actually is.

I recently heard writer Kevin Powers on NPR’s To The Best of Our Knowledge. Powers spent 2 years in Iraq as a machine gunner, and recently published a book of poetry about his experiences. It’s elegant, casual, jarring poetry that makes you stop what you’re doing and be quiet. I’ve posted his title poem below. When I read this poem (and his others, which are also fantastic) I realize:

Death is not the most shocking thing about war; it is often the life that comes after.

For Memorial Day.


Find more of his poetry here. Or here. Or just buy the damn book already.