Litkicks Message Board Archive

How do you spell war? [pc]

Posted to Poetry




How do you spell war?

I am a veteran of war.
I am always braced for action.
Conditioned to be prepared.

Staying mobile, port to port, hugging the sea.
Sleeping under crisp blue sheets
of the Naval Academy’s crested seal.
Bouncing new pressed quarters
off the squared away corners of my bunk.
Deployments and arrivals. Anchors Away.
Piping aboard: throoo oo ooo All hands on deck.

Following the orders
Of new assignments, changing every year.
Of the seasons marked by changing colors,
white to khaki, woolen black, dress blues.
Attention to the shapes, stripes and stars
worn on the sleeves of starched coats.
Attention to the scrambled eggs on the hat brim,
encrusted golden like spreading mold.
Decrypting the code of acronyms:
CO XO PX Alpha Bravo Charlie.
Standing for something, letters without sound.
Standing at attention to each command,
Answered quick with “Yes, sir” or “yes, m’am.”
Holding the silence unless at ease.


I am a veteran of war.
The rank and file of soldiers
stepping in step on the pavement.
Jets and machine gun fire
sounding across the sand dunes.
Choppers and amphibious craft
landings on the beach.
Jeeps and tanks and bunkers
nestled in the grassy hills.
MP sirens near missile silos
flagging my new bike.
In the restricted zone
In the war zone
Of my backyard.


And the TV talks soft
targets, friendly fire,
collateral damage.
Whiskey Alpha Romeo.
I am a veteran of war.