Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Push Ups

image borrowed from bing

Push Ups

(Sgt. Smith, as Moseley's push up count went
past 200: "Moseley's gonna set the fuckin' record for
the battalion. He just needs 230.")

That night down on the floor
while we counted, your arms,
so fluid, pumped, stretched,
dropped your body an inch above
the tile, then lifted you so high
that something had to give—
the floor, the tiles, the sky—something
had to break.
No sweat, just
repetitions, "100," "200," " 229!"
and then you stopped. I knew
why once, the time, the atmosphere,
the need to articulate something
that could not be grunted out
to prove something to yourself
and all of us.
Goddamn but you
were cool when you held yourself so still,
looked up at all of us and laughed.
You lifted one hand from the floor, brushed
a drop of sweat from your lip, stood up
and walked away.

Palmer Hall

Palmer Hall:
Third poem as we approach Veteran's Day. This was one of my first poems and was included in From the Periphery (my first chapbook). I'm putting it here because I have some affection for its subject and because my war poetry has moved from micro to macro in some way. That probably makes no sense to anyone but me. Anyway, Carl Mosely, the central person of the poem was in our basic training platoon...big guy, he once broke another trainee's jaw for bad-mouthing our platoon:

Posted by Marian Haddad on her Facebook wall.

1 comment:

Arnab Majumdar said...

Platoon life sounds very different...

Arnab Majumdar