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Bones

War Boots Built on Seeds

By George M. Bowen | Posted 12/23/1998

My fatherís boots
Army
Lay in the corner

He is marching in other boots
Somewhere else

I am 10 years old
Old enough
To know better
I put them on

I stumble out into the backyard
Forcing my toes forward
I find my pace
And trample on his garden

Fresh seeds and soil
Are pummeled by my awkward walk
I destroyed that garden

He came home drunk and sweating
Hot summer night
In Nuremberg Germany

He went out to his garden with a beer
He returned
He kicked my bedroom door open
Screaming

I was dreaming of a diver in plight
The shark was nearing with a foam voice
Almost singing softly the things I knew
The fin was red and torn and mad

His face was pulsing
Like boiling tomatoes
I rolled off my bed to the floor
And hid

He fell forward
Onto my mattress
Spilling his beer
He passed out
And my sheets
Smelled like beer for a week

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