May 5, 2014 by Laird

A poem I wrote many a year ago.



He does not remember the barbed fence
His civilian mechanisms are fused at the plexus

Pasture grass, ganglion of a dead man of war
Down the funnel of the twelve gauge in his fist

It is always like this; it has always been so
The clock an arc of light that welds

wooden stock, wedding band, and trigger
A silo propped upright by culled earth

Empty as cries for mercy, and in its long slope
Of shadow small animals work between cracks

While dread machinery ticks beneath white tombs
From his window he sees dust slither

Among gunmetal weeds, a trough eaten through the belly
Old scars, a bad ankle, remind him of better campaigns

Gravity is greater in the heartland
The stones here are heavier and numberless

They have beaten his best ploughs, they have broken
The legs of his great horses

Some hold his brave sons at their bosom; a trench
of wildflowers smolders between them

He tastes remnants of fire, and smiles to watch bees
Drift like black ships, flickering yellow before the City

2 thoughts on “Achilles

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