Wednesday, September 30, 2009

soja come (20)

soja come

soldiers perniciously
present; ominous splashes
of khaki marring nature’s
deft brushstrokes; marring
the color & texture of her
jungle landscapes, her
pastoral scenes & urban

they stand in feral
clusters at checkpoints.
their nerves & collars
frayed; their boots, brass,
& behavior unpolished.
they are brusque, bolstered
by native gin & miscellaneous

they search your car;
demand your particulars,
& read them upside down—
then dismiss you with
contempt or detain you
if you give them cause to
think up some excuse to exact a

in the towns & villages
they invade the
drinking parlors,
sitting four to a beer
& lasciviously leer at aging
harlots too expensive for their
pockets but bought easily
with coercion.

in the evening, they go home
to their barren barracks or
to their sparse meals, battered
wives & hungry children;
where they drink more & dream,
not for war, but of greedy
politicians & fat generals
whom they might chance replace.

© Joseph McNair; 1990-2009