Holding Tight

Three poems
by Matthew Borczon
 
by the
 
third time
a child
died I
was too
numb to
care
any more
she had
lost an
eye a
foot and
a hand
to the
helicopter fire
that killed
her parents
they said
the father
was too
important
a target
to let
get away
in the
last 6
years I
have learned
how untrue
it was
to think
I didn’t
care
numb thaws
like snow
off bushes
and your
small death
returned
in nightmares
in ghost
voices crying
on a
pounding rain
in memory
too painful
for alcohol
or medication
I am
reminded
daily that
the smallest
coffins are
always
the heaviest
 
especially when
you have
no idea
how to
put them
down.
 
12 years
 
ago on
Assateague
I sat
by an
open fire
as six
wild ponies
walked
like ghosts
through my
camp beautiful
in firelight
beneath the
rhythmic blinking
of stars
my children
squealed with
delight
 
I hold
this memory
like a
prayer card
or rosary
beads as
proof that
I had
a life
before the
war.
 
I used
 
to drink
in the
Erie Cemetery
at 16
with friends
and girls
I wanted
as more
than friends
 
on summer
nights beneath
stars in
cool grass
it seemed
so romantic
the girls
the death
the tombstones
 
back before
the war
ghosts didn’t
scare me
like they
do now.
 
—————–
Matthew Borczon is the Author of A Clock of Human Bones through Yellow Chair Review Press and Battle Lines through Epic Rites Press, his third book Ghost Train will be released through Weasel Press in 2017, he is a nurse and Navy sailor who writes about war and life after war. He publishes widely in the small press.
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Published by

17numa

Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and books can be found. He is a Best of the Net and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Scott's poetry books include: Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015), Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016), Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016), and Poison in Paradise (Alien Buddha Press, 2017). Scott is a member of The Southern Collective Experience; he also serves as an editor for Walking Is Still Honest Press, The Blue Mountain Review, The Peregrine Muse, and Novelmasters.

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