The Nineteen-Forties


With strong purpose one more
of the heroes talks before and after,
looks to build and make the broad
shoulders real, and smokes
against her hat and flattened flannel

on a steam locomotive headed
out west, towards some station
of glad soldiers getting hearty hugs
and more, Ernie Pyle writing
about how the boys walk now,

in spite of it. Darkness, then,
lies only between racing shafts
of light barely seen on the barrel-train
where kissing necks and promises
are whispered in decay’s full bloom



(from 2005)

Don't just stand there.