“Has the United States ever apologized?
Or are we too big to apologize?”

—Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson

The Chaplains Handbook has no confiteor or rite,
neither Book of Common Prayer nor missalette,
for scrutinies that beg forgiveness from the torn

and desecrated dead. We come contrite
for reports of helicopter gunships,
bodies observed in a ditch, the undress

of a girl who covered only her eyes:
Noncombatant gang rape, with bayonet.

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