|Poetry Friday is hosted by Sylvia at Poetry For Children|
What makes Joshua’s death even more tragic is that it is believed that his cancer was a result of his service in Iraq and the toxic fumes from the burn pits in the Abu Ghraib prison, where he was stationed as an interrogator. He was still fighting for his compensation claim with the Veterans Administration at the time of his death, and his family is still struggling with the financial burdens of caring for Joshua during his brave fight to regain his health. He paid a very heavy price for seeking out and telling the truth.
When I think of Joshua this Poetry Friday, I remember Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem:
that is all that I shall do for Death.
I hear him leading his horse out of the stall;
I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba,
business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
But I will not hold the bridle
while he clinches the girth.
And he may mount by himself:
I will not give him a leg up.
Though he flick my shoulders with his whip,
I will not tell him which way the fox ran.
With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where
the black boy hides in the swamp.
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death;
I am not on his pay-roll.
I will not tell him the whereabout of my friends
nor of my enemies either.
Though he promise me much,
I will not map him the route to any man’s door.
Am I a spy in the land of the living,
that I should deliver men to Death?
Brother, the password and the plans of our city
are safe with me; never through me Shall you be overcome.