Thursday, November 19, 2015

Korea, 1953


He pulled his boots on
And looked outside – five
More months before his draft
Would go back – It hadn’t
Been as exciting as he
Hoped, but he was well
Used to it now.  His friends

Said his intention
Had been mad, and
Thankfully, they said,
It was no longer real –
The season of war had
Past.  The leaves had
Turned brown and the wind

Howled and blew them away –
His war-like wishes were
More staunch than he knew –
A night at the slop chute should
End in a fight.  Mornings
Though he doubted this
Was all as it should be --

Mornings and the happy looks
Of those who were due to
Return – back to the land
He had fled to look for war.
He lit a cigarette and blew
A ring no one would see.
His head ached with thoughts

Fixed in the vague fog
That eased up from the China
Sea.  He still needed to lean
And take it in.  He would,
But what of the happy looks
Of those going back?  War was
Infectious, but maybe he hadn’t

Looked back hard enough.  Maybe
There was something he’d missed
Waiting if he had the will.  His head
Ached with the beer he’d drunk. 
There was a fight but
Not with him.  He had his
Place amongst them now

And could stay as long as he
Wished and some wished he would,
But he had anxious thoughts littering
His system, looking at each
Morning critically in other
Ways than those, not letting
Him finish after all.

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