Friday afternoon in Baghdad

Posted: Sunday, April 06, 2003

The front page photo in the New York Times

shows a soldier's face reflected in

the rearview mirror of the truck he drives.

Parked on the sandy shoulder of the road and waiting,

he looks out past the mirror to the road ahead,

past the line of trucks parked in the dirt ahead,

past the few blurred figures in the road,

and down the stretch of gray road to the gray

blank of distance and two gray plumes of smoke.

His eyes are tight with vigilance and desert sun,

his face emotionless but for the blank

unconscious consciousness beyond the photo's range.

Here at home, for the war and not,

I trust in each side's dubious motives.

It's all Oprah to me, except the sun-

wrenched war behind his eyes.

Jim Hale


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