You’re In The Navy Now

Hat in hand, offering his strength

in return for a little food,

some cash, a tiny house,

the promise of training

and transferrable skills.

Pushing past people

shivering with cardboard signs

and dead eyes, wrung out

and discarded on the sidewalk,

he doesn’t recognize these

brothers.  Fixed on the prized

traditions serving

my country, travel the globe,

defend the spoils of the one

percent.  He’ll carry their plunder

out of the danger zones

with a crisp yes, sir and straight

carriage, posing on command.

In ten years, he’s never voted,

and he doesn’t care to focus

on politics, his resolution

increasingly on the pixels

of pure survival.  They’ve offered

a sweet signing bonus,

the perfect segue from rags

to riches. 

I’m not consulted.

What do I know of war,

besides marching against it?

In another time, I might frame this

as ironic revenge

for the missteps of my youth.

He still calls his childhood

idyllic; truly wonders why

his brothers are in therapy.

Today the only job left to me:

relax in the arms

of the supportive universe,

watching as each taut thread

emerges now, loosening

as the tension releases

all the invisible pressure

on all these unreachable knots.

In my dreams, my great great

grandmother holds my face

between her hands and kisses me,

surrounded by ancestors

gathered to say, this is so.

The way is mysterious, lit

by what reaches through the cracks

of our carefully constructed

cages. Suspend judgment,

the entanglement of worry,

as each step is

allowed

in its fullness.

Inspired by: Traditions, Resolution, Revenge, and Segue.

Published by

Victoria Stuart

I'm a poet, philosopher and inner seeker. A giver, lover and a healer who studies the heart.

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