I am reading The Blue Cascade,

A book by a Marine

I know, who went to war in Iraq,

And was an artillery liaison officer,

Attached to an infantry battalion,

And a forward observer, who

Made the radio call for what got hit,

And who got killed, and when, or how

There was a time he found a taxi

On the side of the road, parked

Near a roadblock, with bullet holes,

Probably because it did not stop,

And there was a brain of a small girl,

Her skull and flesh and blood and hair,

Splattered and spread, in pieces, there,

Across the backseat, and on the window,

And how he buried

Her sandals on the side of the road, and

How his friend buried her brain.

My husband is a soldier, too,

And he was gone,

For fifteen months at war in Afghanistan,

And he is sliding into the passenger seat

Of our station wagon, the belt crossing

His chest like the strap of his M9, and

He is sliding his combat boots into closets,

Sliding his body into our bed,

Sliding his hands over my back,

My spine, like a row of forgotten rounds,

And he is saying, this feels too easy, and

I know what he means, his face,

This outpost of war in my dark,

How coming home from war is never easy,

How what you see you can never forget,

And how he is sliding his life back on,

Like skin, over his war blasted heart.

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4 Responses to Slide

  1. Joe Gor says:

    God Bless our serving military and our veterans, including our incredibly brave NON_COMBATANT veterans – the families of the men and women who must go to war that we may live in peace and freedom.

  2. Beautifully written, Amalie.

  3. Yup. God bless you and keep you and bring you and your husband Peace. Psalm 91.

  4. Danielle says:

    This is just so raw and beautiful. You are very brave to capture these words and share so openly. I don’t know that I can ever truly understand but for a moment I think I can when I read your poems, and suddenly a new world opens to me.

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