The Stars and Stripes is Free

Eric Chandler

by Eric Chandler

The Stars and Stripes is free.

I grab one to read

while I eat my eggs.

They’re okay but the

bacon’s not quite right.


A girl’s face filled with glee.

The photo on this

page is black and white.

Her mom says this is

a party for her.


She is about to see.

The next picture shows

tears where the smiles were.

I stop chewing my

breakfast and lean back.


She fights to break free.

Her mother holds her

down inside some shack.

The other woman

dives in with a knife.


Why won’t they let her be?

Why are the black robes

threatening her life?

The Kurd women cut

off some private skin.


I sip my hot coffee.

The Kurds are my team

in this war I’m in.

I see my own girl

getting blood, not cake.


It’s hard for me to see.

A lie so awful

it makes my heart break.

To see daughters bleed

while I eat my eggs.



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