Recounting the Dead

by Laura LeHew

a found poem

after a vehicle packed with an improvised explosive device drove into the gate of his compound
after collapsing while on guard duty
after falling from a bridge, his vehicle was hit from behind by a civilian truck and left hanging off the side of the bridge
after two 122mm rockets were fired into his forward operating base
apparently fell into a canal and did not resurface
as a result of enemy action
as a result of hostile action
as a result of a non-combat injury
attempting to negotiate with armed men who were congregating on a road near a mosque after curfew
cause of death is under investigation
changing the tire on a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck when the tire exploded

due to hostile action
due to a non-hostile incident, the incident is under investigation
during a mortar attack when mortar rounds hit their camp
during a firefight with insurgents
fatal gunshot wounds while on guard duty at a propane distribution center
from an attack by small arms fire while conducting security of a weapons cache
from hostile fire
from injuries sustained from multiple gunshot wounds
from severe burns he received after his fuel-truck came under attack
from small arms fire after a dump truck on the side of the road was detonated while his military convoy passed by
inspecting soldiers on guard duty
inspecting a suspicious package when it exploded
last seen wading in the lake on the palace compound
lost at sea
manning a traffic control point when a vehicle came up to the checkpoint and two individuals got out requesting a medic for their sick friend, immediately following the request for help, they opened fire
non-hostile – illness – heat related
on patrol when the vehicle he was driving flipped over into a canal trapping him inside the vehicle
part of an ambulance crew transporting an injured soldier when the vehicle was hit by an RPG
participating in an air assault mission
participating in a small arms fire exercise on the range when a bullet ricocheted and ignited a fire in the building
participating in a raid at a suspected arms market when he was hit with shrapnel
patrolling a village when the vehicle was ambushed by RPGs
small arms fire wounds he received as his unit was engaging the enemy
struck by a stray bullet
thrown from his vehicle when the driver swerved to avoid an oncoming vehicle in another lane
vehicle ran into a ditch while trying to avoid a civilian vehicle
when a local resident threw a grenade over the wall
when a piece of unexploded ordnance accidentally detonated in the area he was working
when a tire on the 5-ton vehicle in which he was riding blew out and the vehicle overturned
when a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb next to his vehicle
when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted position during combat operations
when a vehicle pulled up and assailants fired on him
when an Avenger rolled over
when an explosion occurred near his convoy
when enemy forces ambushed their ground patrol
when he attempted to rescue the crewmembers
when he experienced severe chest pains
when he received sniper and rocket propelled grenade fire while securing a building
when he was shot by a suspected sniper
when he was struck by a forklift
when his camp came under mortar attack
when his M113 armored personnel carrier hit an antitank mine
when his patrol came under attack by rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire
when his squad leader fell overboard he dived into the water and did not surface
when his up-armored high-mobility-multi-purpose wheeled vehicle was struck by rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire
when his vehicle was attacked by small arms fire and an improvised explosive device
when mortar rounds hit his living quarters
when their Bradley Fighting Vehicle came under attack by enemy forces using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades
when his military vehicle was struck by a dump truck whose driver had been shot while trying to run through a control point
when his truck went off the road and rolled over because of limited visibility and dangerous driving conditions
when he was electrocuted while performing routine generator maintenance
when his military vehicle pulled off the road and apparently hit a mine while on patrol
when the track of the tank he was in broke, the driver lost control and the tank rolled off the bridge
while he was in a swimming pool when an electrical current charged the water

Laura LeHew is the author of a full-length book of poems, two chapbooks, numerous articles and poems in Anobium, Counterexample Poetics, Eleven Eleven, filling station Magazine, Ghost Town, The Inflectionist Review and PANK, among others. Laura received her MFA from the California College of Arts. She knows nothing of gardens or gardening but is well versed in the cultivation of cats. Laura is the editor of Uttered Chaos Her website is