The war never ends, it’s in the cells.
Mind cells mixing mud to lay down the steps
back to life. O you did? and who were they,
the pleasant ones who never raise a voice
in answer, being no questions remain.
Someone read my rights not moving their lips.
What’s that scar buried inside one eyebrow?
Do you walk with all your weight on one side?
Where were you when you went missing from here?
Why’d you go to war, you didn’t wanta . . .
Left for the woods, found shelter, an old house
with mice, a slatted floor, the walls porous.
Blankets sufficed. What of silence? All sounds
were from those native to place and season.
What war did this body bring me home from?
Who needs more? I do. I want my mind back.
I squirrel away nuts but can’t crack them
open. I wash in the creek, then lie down
to die, I mean dry. If I had a gun
with bullets I’d turn the deer into prey.
In town the vets meet. How to end the war
is all they talk about and then go drink
to stir up as much laughter as venom.
This one doesn’t care if the war goes on,
that’s why he misses meetings. He went home.
Home is the word the beloved goes to
when he’s no longer here; or her, the loved
one staying on, what’s there for her to do
but follow the decline and fall of hope
which rhymes with Rome if you can catch the fire.
Chile falls. Kissinger taking orders
from Nixon. The Constitution gutted
today. Iraq over, Afghanistan
when? . . . Obama makes war his centerpiece,
I want to fly with you between owls' wings.
(15 December 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander