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Sunday, November 09, 2014


by Peg Quinn

Image source: 1stdibs

Veterans Day Weekend 2014

easing back
as morphine
soothes his system
he remembers
the Great Depression

walking to school
through snow
without a coat
in shoes
that didn’t match
he drifts

to Guadalcanal
his tank under fire
the slow motion of
body parts in the water
the gunner’s beheading
crimes never mentioned
until his wife’s death
sixty years later

his box of medals

now his mind turns bedside
his infant son
an iron lung
the good man
he would become

wife’s smile
swirls the room

he smiles back
fields and farms from
their Piper Cub
tandem seating
their carnival of friends
ferris wheels
of laughter

his good fortune

the landscape of his
life a clean horizon

this night,
straining through pain
between tabs of morphine
he finds the faded
Navajo rug bought
from the back of a truck
their honeymoon stop
near Santa Fe
the light in the eyes
of his spunky bride
that night
under stars

he tosses the rug
to the garage floor

drops down hard

steadies the gun
metal to mouth

as he remembers

paying full price
without bargaining

Peg Quinn is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, mural and theatrical set painter, award winning quilter and art specialists at a private school in Santa Barbara, California.