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THE VETERAN

Page 36
Download PDF of this full issue: v43n1.pdf (21.1 MB)

<< 35. Student Response37. Jimi (poem) >>

No Fear (poem)

By Paul Nichols

[Printer-Friendly Version]

NO FEAR read the tag
on his civilian shirt
and the decal
on his pickup window
Ripe with youthful illusions
fed by hungry recruiters
fresh from high school restraints
"There's a war on
gotta get me some"

Months later
gullibility stings
in a forbidding arena
Young warrior gags
on fear

Glory
mission
his role emerges
expendable
as a shear pin
when the drive wheel binds
a pawn in the shop of war
One errant move
a detonator fires
the charge explodes
jagged ingots
sear
tear
soft flesh
beneath
body armor's trust

Now a different shirt
tagged with blood
bone-white shards
where sleeves were full

Strapped to a gurney
jaw clamped tight
a morphine haze calls back
that high school psych class
the lightness of each topic
an intense understanding now
'fight or flight' means nothing
when neither is possible.


—Paul Nichols

<< 35. Student Response37. Jimi (poem) >>



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