Spring 2011 - THE POTOMAC

Two Poems
   Colleen S. Harris

Domestic Soldiers

When there were no
blankets, we wove fine tapestries
of profanity to keep our sluggish
blood from freezing.
We sewed each other’s hungry
wounds with the delicacy of women
embroidering wedding gowns.
Whoever packed the field stove
we called Ma until we were fed,
food cooked with the same gas
that ran our truck, tasting like
furtive movement in the dark.
And when it came time to sleep,
we became wives, spooned
against our neighbor’s body,
feigning sleep, finding comfort
against the oily foreign night.


No Relation


Most folks don’t know that
the size of the coffin belched
from the belly of the plane
bears no relation to the size
of the pieces of the body
brought home. No matter
how much your giblets weigh,
or how much of you they save,
you still get a full casket,
twenty-one guns, and eight
men to carry you to the grave.

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