It Was a Long Time be­fore the Bones Spoke

The Iowa Review - - D.F. BROWN -

I can ex­plain my­self as a sol­dier, lessons of blood earned by heart. I can reach through words and pull you closer to war, the one you paid for, rung by sung a saga history misses in its rum­ble through the ru­ins. Glimpse the glit­ter-green trac­ers at Fire Base Ner­vous, small unit tac­tics with in­di­rect fire near LZ Shit­hole, booby traps and body bags up the Song Con, later, in a foot­note, we died there.

Oh! ba­bies in the third de­gree or­der of burns. I don’t re­mem­ber which day on the short count, but one clear mem­ory dances me, dodg­ing bul­lets be­hind a grave mound, Oh! blessed moth­ers of Agent Or­ange, in a ceme­tery east of Plei-ku. Oh! lit­tle sis­ter of the holy flames of na­palm: they put their chil­dren in the ground, and wail a long time.

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