A Pentagon Official Drafts A Condolence Letter
By Tom Daley
[Her tomboy taunts all stilled.] No note of praise
that I might shape could lull your shock or gloom.
Your daughter fell [to find the End of Days.
She christens Armageddon with her wounds.]
She cooled to mercy under desert rain.
She gave no cry. How could she, ambushed so?
We know she died before a slingshot pain
afforded her the spur [and grace] to show
a courage pledged in camaraderie.
[If thin mistakes have tipped her towards her doom,
they will not hedge her death’s audacity.]
The fanatic, from whose belt ball bearings [bloomed,
conceived no more or less of hope than she.
Their end adheres our time to time’s mortality.]
Tom Daley has poems published or are forthcoming in a number of journals, including Fence, Diagram, Barrow Street, Massachusetts Review, In Posse Review, Harvard Review, Prairie Schooner, 32 Poems and Poetry Ireland Review, and has been anthologized in Hacks: The Grub Street Anthology, Unlocking the Poem, and the Poets for Haiti anthology. He is a past recipient of the Charles and Fanny Fay Wood Academy of American Poets poetry prize. His manuscript, Shim, was a finalist in The Poetry Foundation’s Emily Dickinson First Book Award.