Rocky Mountain Veteran
by Carol Wolrich
There is clarity in the crystalline snow.
He can be new here. At least, by day,
with his rifle, claiming deer, and his line
to catch brown trout in fresh-water lakes,
amid regimented columns of lodgepole pine.
But, at night, heat haunts his mind; in
a place of wet grime on putrid skin. And
the sweat of self-loathing.
When the chopper finally came, they had
strapped him down, still fighting. Allowed
to keep his necklace of trophy flesh;
a souvenir to take stateside. Blood-gelled,
on a scrap of leather string; unlucky for
some - thirteen. Buried long ago. Discarded
with purple hearts and comrades' photographs.
These days, he hunts alone.
©2005 Carol Wolrich
Carol would love to hear what you think of her poem - email her now
Back to Poetry Competition