Written by Poetry

NaPoWriMo Day 08: Doug’s Pockets

This poem was inspired by the news of a US Marine who had taken his own life and what the police detective processing this tragedy would be thinking.

NaPoWriMo Poem #8

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked me to peruse the work of one or more poetry twitter bots and use a line or two, or a phrase or even a word that stands out to you, as the seed for your own poem.

I chose a tweet from Sylvia Plath Bot@SylviaPlathBot — that was posted on/around 9:37 PM on April 7th, 2020:Sylvia Plath Bot Tweet - @SylviaPlathBot

The resulting poem was inspired by the news of a US Marine who had taken his own life in a VA parking lot just after leaving his V.A. appointment. I imagined what the police detective — most likely another Vet — would be thinking about when processing this tragedy.

Doug’s Pockets

A wedding ring,
A gold filling.
A ring of keys,
mixed, various sizes.
No car fob or charms,
Maybe a house or locker?
A pocket knife,
Lose hinge, broken blade.
Dried blood on the handle.
Too old to test,
Check cold stabbings.
Loose change,
Two quarters, one dime.
A leather wallet,
Brown and worn.
No credit cards,
No paper money.
One old photo,
A woman with red hair.
Pretty curls and smiling,
Beach in the background.
Writing on the back,
Love Blair.
Wife? Girlfriend? Sister?
Expired driver’s license,
Virginia State April 2003.
Younger with short hair,
Wearing a uniform.
Something on the shoulder,
Enlisted rank?
The address is local,
Could be the Last Known.
One business card,
Possible contact?
Veteran Affairs appointment,
Yesterday at 10 AM.
Maybe the cause,
Possible bad news?
Hidden pocket,
Something heavy.
A large bronze coin,
Globe and Anchor as heads.
Iwo Jima raising as tails.
Semper Fidelis,
Another fallen Marine.


Veteran Crisis Line

If you are a Veteran in emotional crisis or know of a Veteran in emotional crisis, you or their loved ones can call the free and confidential Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to connect with a caring, qualified VA responder who can deal with any immediate crisis.