Benefits Waived

it begins angry
a ghost
gold around the edges
rotten at the core
gold of yesterday’s sunsets
benefits waived

i remember the wind’s sound in trees
free on my bike, as a child
not yet afraid

  • but war is coming

the trenches blacken with gore
angry holes slicken
with mud
tramped underfoot
by the legion’s boot

  • war is coming

sprung from my own breast
and fear
ugly, tooth and nail

  • i will be replaced
  • my body will be covered with lime
  • brought by the day’s reinforcements

the room where i grew up

had bold child-color curtains
thin carpeting
olive-yellow like the 70’s
my plastic dinosaur models
sat on a shelf
my father built
whitewashed boxes
two on three on four
a fish tank sometimes bubbled,
a little world with
colored rockses
slippery angels
watched by cats

i would spend myself
at this desk
with a chalk-board top
you could lift.
underneath was a peg board, and
colored pegs in a tray
in a photo i am seen
asleep across the desk
cheek in scribbles
chalk in hand
and at night
i drifted off
to the summer breeze
to the doppler moan of trucks
on a far-off highway,
the wail of a future
too sad and fragile
for my dinosaurs to stop