What Soldiers Know by Denise R. Weuve

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


Sandstorms:

          cover Al Badrah
          mornings, pale orange
          and slow, camouflaging
          dirt roads swarming
          with street vendors,
          begging children,
          roadside-placed bombs,
          and need of gas masks.

                                                 Grenades:
                                                              aren’t always green
                                                              or thrown by enemies. Sometimes friendly
                                                              fire, or faulty mechanisms
                                                              blow open skin — same end result:
                                                              Landsthul Regional.

Shrapnel:
          can sever the left leg
          fifty yards from detonation
          point.  The surreal
          realization that it is a brother
          lying facedown,
          when Fort Bragg
          was only four
          days away.

                                                 Scars:
                                                               can refuse
                                                               treatment.  Raised landscapes
                                                               of a two-year tour.  A man
                                                               knows these maps
                                                               were created
                                                               not to show where
                                                               he has been, but where
                                                               he now belongs.


Denise R W pic.png

Denise R. Weuve is the author of The Truck Driver’s Daughter (ELJ Publications, 2014). She is a pushcart nominee whose work has appeared in San Pedro River Review, South Coast Poetry Journal, and others. Currently she is the founder and editor of Wherewithal, a poetry magazine out of Long Beach, California.