(I can't put tabs into Blogger's formatting, so the poem will not appear in its true form.)
From the PAD Challenge: Write an origin poem.
From the Latin infantem,
a youth, the youngest foot soldier
shoved in the front of the cavalry.
The first to die, the most expendable.
I think about other words I can’t define:
honor, bravery, sacrifice.
There’s no solace
in what can’t be explained,
like the thrum of the sun,
the iron in the neck
the sweat beading down
the citadel of your skin. Look alive.
You are the frontline, the first line,
maneuvering terrain on patrol, in pursuit.
Always there is a bullet with your name on it.
Always there is the absence of reason,
as if any loss is acceptable, yet you soldier on,
soldier, I am enamored with you,
come home safe and come home soon.