The Common Good
July 2008

Mrs. Logan's Garden Hose

by Louis Templeman | July 2008

She spoke softly, calmly recounting

her pain through a furnace of litanies

that helped her hold on to the unbelief

She spoke softly, calmly recounting
her pain through a furnace of litanies
that helped her hold on to the unbelief
that the boy who hanged himself
in her basement was the same boy
silent in the glossy photograph
that she displayed in her hands,
whose memory snarled like
a wild dog at her ankle.
“A murderer,” he’d called himself,
remembering the two kneeling Iraqi
captives whose last sight was his AR-14.
“Joe had just wanted something to do,”
whispered the lady with the photo.
So, through the smoke that melted away
from extinguished Iraqi cities, Joe drove his truck.
Joe buried corpses. Joe obeyed orders.
He once stopped at an intersection where he
saw a child torn apart and tossed in bloody indignity.
Her lifeless hands clutched an American flag.
On that memorable day, he shot them.
Unarmed. Bound.
The fear in Iraqi eyes branded a horror
that beckoned his liquor, fueled his despair,­
and stretched Mrs. Logan’s garden hose.
In the photograph
there is a young girl’s blood-stained flag
furled atop the chest of
the young Marine.

Louis Templeman lives at the Baker Correctional Institution in Sanderson, Florida.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)