Semper Fi
by Taylor Collier

It doesn’t seem right, cousin,
that you’re over there, nineteen, fresh
out of boot, and lugging around
a forty pound fully automatic machine
gun--Uncle Sam’s strong arm

of death. I feel, sometimes, since I’m older,
I should be the one over there.
But I have no excuses; excuses are weak
defending inaction, so I’ll do the only thing I can:

mail care-packages stuffed with cigarettes,
Twizzlers, Playboys, and snuff
as if that makes up for the holidays.

What does proud mean
from someone whose only wars rest

in books? I’ve never watched my friends,
the marines you call brothers, with navy corpsmen
peering into their gaping chests, bandages in hand,
trying to forget their training for fatal wounds.

I’ve never been scared
enough to call my dad daddy.

Copyright © 2007 - Taylor Collier
Published: 4/26/07   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem