The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

MINeD JOURNEY |

April 14, 2014

Name: Andrew Kaufmann
Returned from: Iraq
Hometown: Montpelier, VA
Email: turtle@warriortalkradio.com

 

AUTUMN FALL

Inside the tree's movement
Of thought, it weaves new dreams
Like the spider spinning
A silken thread
From which he falls slowly in the wind

From high branches
The memories persist
Some good, some bad
But all intact - they conquer every space
Every synapse, every second

As the branches sway
So does the spider
His web, stretched from strain
Snaps and recoils from pressure

 

THE BAG

An ordinary object - longer and colored
It hopes to stay empty
For as long as possible

Unfortunately it gets filled
By a brother or sister
Who has fallen

You unzip it slowly to reveal the black
You may notice hair or lifeless eyes
You may not recognize any of the contents

Some are partially full
With parts in no particular order
A piece, a torso, a head, a hand
It's still your comrade

What's left leaves a mark
Not for them - but for you

As you close your eyes later
You see them as they are now
And try to see them as they were

It is hard - it is scary - it is reality

 

THE ROSE OF JERICHO

Rolled up in a tight little ball
I picked some - out of curiosity

It was odd to see
Life in a barren place

Nestled in a cropping of rocks
On the Syrian border

A tangled mess
Death it seemed
Had come to this

I left it on a shelf
And spilled some water on it

Almost as if by magic
She opened

And proved
That what may seem dead
Can always live again
Whether tangible or not

It brought a smile to my face
And reminded me that those gone
Will always live inside

 

SALAH

Just a boy
Innocent

Friends to all
Insistent

Smiles all day
Friendship

Reminds us of family
Far away

Deception from his family
He is gone

Death was his reward
A head in a box

Why did they do this?
Thrown at the gate

Why did he receive that terrible fate

Salah - you are remembered.

 

SAND FAR AND WIDE

Tasting the grit
Feeling the sting
Sand all around

Fast in a blur
Slow in the sun
Blistering to touch

Burning the eyes
Tears in the rain
Lips chapped and raw

There is no reprieve
From the tiniest grains
That invade every space

Sanctuaries are scarce
Arms cannot shield
Sand far and wide

 

The above poems are from the unpublished collection MINeD JOURNEY. Kaufmann (aka Turtle) and GI Jenn are co-hosts of the Warrior Talk Radio podcasts, and partners for "HEAR Our Veterans" on Facebook.

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