So clear, so vivid

I am traveling down

The narrow road, past

Checkpoint 201; halfway there

I think, running the gauntlet we call

IED alley. The landscape is as it was

The same day after day, with the

Exception of new trash and fresh

Holes here and there from the

Previous day’s attacks. My rifle, warmed by

The midday sun is in my hands as

I catch a whiff of baking bread

It is sourdough-sweet in my nostrils before we

Crest the hill and raw shit from stagnant

Water in that trench spoils my momentary

Reprieve. ‘Almost to checkpoint 301’ I say

Looking forward to being out

Of the city limits. It’s usually safer there

I stand a little higher in my hatch, confident

As the blast erupts and rips through me like

A punch from a fist of fire from a steel wrist

I need to key the radio mic to call this up

But my left hand fails to answer me – I look

The arm, it is not there; just strands of flesh

And bright red blood on a tattered uniform

And I open my eyes, my heart racing

I feel the pain! But it is dark now, and cold

I can’t be dead… no. I’ve slept on my side

And my arm went numb again

I roll over and try to go back to sleep

Wondering what side must I sleep on

To flip the tide

And make the dreams go numb instead.

About anotherwarriorpoet

Mathew Bocian served as a Captain in the United States Army with the Stryker Brigade and was deployed to Mosul and Tal'Afar in 2004 - 2005, and to Baghdad for The Surge in 2007 - 2008. He left the Army in 2012 and now uses his poetry as a way to heal from the traumas of war, while attempting to express to readers the realities of war. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and holds a master's from the Graduate School for Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.
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1 Response to So clear, so vivid

  1. thewordonthestreetcorner says:

    Reblogged this on The Word on the Street Corner.


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