Sandy Benitez writes Postcards from Iraq

This Veterans Day, we recognize poet and Air Force Vet Sandy Benitez and her family who have served our country.  Sandy crafted these poems when she was deployed to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, from July 2007-January 2008.  Sandy’s full collection can be found on Camel Saloon’s Books on Blog.



Fourteenth Postcard from Iraq

In my left pocket,
classic cherry chapstick,
icebreakers liquid ice,
twenty-five dollars,
a credit card,
and a folded yellow post-it
with my brother’s number.
This is most what I need
to survive the day.
The only things missing,
my daughter’s coy laughter,
my son’s broad smile,
and my husband’s wet kisses.


Tenth Postcard from Iraq

In the evenings,
Picasso speaks to me
from the walls.
I become the blue nude.
My head turned away
from the black landscape,
exposing my back
to the shadows all around
who constantly tap
and shake my shoulders
when all I want to do
is sleep in peace.


Eighth Postcard from Iraq

Two rose bushes reside
by the US Embassy pool.
One abundant with roses,
the other, bare,
revealing its bones
to anyone who passes by.
There is no privacy here.
Stems rooted in coconut husk
colored soil contort themselves
to feel freedom in the
hollow spaces.
The same places I search for
when I tire of looking
into a dozen strangers’ faces,
a sigh the only conversation
between us.


The original material comprising this collection is copyrighted 2011 by the author. First Edition. No original material may be copied or reused without the permission of the author.  Palace photograph by Robert Smith is in the public domain.

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