The Sunday Poem: Bill Nevins . . . Dover Base

Dover Base

   He fell in Afghanistan
Sometime the day before

The Major from the New Mexico National Guard
couldn't find my house
and it was a stormy night in Albuquerque
So we talked by cell phone instead--
No dress uniforms at my door--
   It was a clean three shots
Straight through the heart
He was dead before he hit the ground

The Major was a father himself he said
I could hear his kid behind the phone
   I could see my own son reaching up to his dad

   The Major called back later
The government could fly me
   the Major said
to the Dignified Transfer at Dover base

I asked where that was
The Major said he thought it was maybe in Indianapolis
But he wasn't sure exactly where

   I looked it up on Google and found
It is at Dover Delaware
Far from New Mexico
Far from here

I don't know where he is

I know he is beautiful there.

Bill Nevins

Mr. Nevins teaches at UNM VC and UNM West. This poem appears in his book Heartbreak Ridge, to be published in July 2014. Bill is featured in the film Committing Poetry in Times of War, available at Book Works on DVD. He will read with other poets in the Committing Poetry 2014 event at Book Works 4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW, 7 pm on July 2, 2014. FREE! Bill will also read from Heartbreak Ridge at Sunday morning Chatter at the Kosmos in Albuquerque, 10:30 am on August 31. Copies of Heartbreak Ridge may be purchased at these and other readings and at Book Works.
Bill Nevins is the grand host of Poetry at the Range (2nd Wednesday of each month) which will feature Bobby Byrd and Mitch Rayes on July 9th,with open reading sign up at 6:30. The Range Cafe is in downtown Bernalillo. Bill can be reached at

The Sunday Poem welcomes submissions: Thanks! Larry Goodell

Views: 342

Comment by Merimee Moffitt on June 15, 2014 at 7:34am

good Sunday Morning to you, Bill.  Thank you for giving words to your story and sharing with us.  Beautifully done, a beautiful son.  Our grief as a nation awakens.  Keep telling it.

Comment by Dee Cohen on June 15, 2014 at 8:38am

Thank you sharing this. Being a father can be heartbreaking. Thoughts with you...

Comment by Bill Nevins on June 15, 2014 at 9:51am

thanks dee and merimee good father day to you all also thinking of my dad, a tough but loving WW II navy vet who passed on some 14 years ago, and his dad before him on and on love and love is all we can say or do bill

Comment by The Bindi Queen on June 15, 2014 at 10:38am

Too many sons, too many daughters have been fed to the war machine through the generations.  Every one is heartbreaking and a hole in the world. My own father came out of his service in the Army Air Corp in WWII a dedicated pacifist. I hope that, someday, love will win. I know that poetry will be part of the victory. Thank you Bill.


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