A Common Death: General George S. Patton by Michele Buchanan 2009

Poetry is an essential form of human expression, just as war is a universal experience. The poetry of World War II, as well as studying World War II on the western front while on my study abroad inspired me write my own reflection on war and the effects it has on soldiers and their families, as well as whole societies. My poem, entitled “A Common Death: General George S. Patton” is about the irony of General George S. Patton’s death from injuries sustained in a car accident six months after the war had ended:

I was left with

no roses,

no kind bullet holes

in my side.

 

My death was as common

as my grave.

A car, not a gun.

 

I thought I knew you.

I had watched you my whole

life

take my men away,

but I underestimated your grip

on me.

 

The bulge of death took them away

with icy hands

that melted only

when they touched me

one year later.

 

I was left with

no roses,

no bullet holes,

and no heroic gun.

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