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Soldier Home

At first Krebs…did not want to talk about the war at all.
Later he felt the need to talk but no one wanted to hear about it.”
—Ernest Hemingway, “Soldier’s Home”
 
Full moon over Beaufort Inlet, moon path streaming towards him
barefoot on the cold beach, watching wave crests rush the shore.
 
Out in the Atlantic silence, boat lights wink on a black horizon
as a Camp Lejeune chopper circles and circles a spot on the sea,
 
engine staccato louder than the waves, search light beams
brighter than the moon. Finally it breaks off and heads landward,
 
just a wasp shape crossing the moon, cutting lights at the shoreline,
its engine loud in the boy’s head. Not even the waves can drown it.
 
“Captains and soldiers are smeared on the bushes and grass;
Our Generals schemed in vain,” Li Po wrote, twelve hundred years ago.

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