#poem #poetry #amwriting child 1

child 1

Up on the old airfield, a desert of green
so flat, that like the sea, one sees the bent horizon.
We found in the cracked concrete an ant's nest.
At first it didn't interest:
because just beyond the slab, we found a bullet
that we beat with stones. At first timidly,
and then with ferocity, but it didn't fire.
The red ridged sides we blamed for it's blankness.
You had a penknife. I had a stick.
And we dueled, constantly en-garde,
swapping with each hit. Until in our words
we had ribboned eyes, and gummed out teeth.
I held the penknife, you the stick.
We found two more bullets in the grass
and a clip, and a buckle, and part of a wooden sign
that read, 'RES', in fading white stenciled letters.
One bullet was clearly live, no red sides,
you kept that in your pocket.
I didn't haggle hard.
Sometimes the grass was waist high,
where the sign read, 'DANGER'.
We decided there were buried bombs
and dug no deeper than the penknife hilt
struck no gold, only tossed glass from a lemonade bottle.
According to you, ghosts walk here,
and on nights when the moon is full
a jeep drives out to the runway.
The shiver I felt, made this true, in a way
that your story of your cousin losing a testicle
falling from a tree, was not.
I had fallen from a tree.
We found the worn rubber heel of a shoe.
We found the key of a can of bully beef.
We found ourselves back at the ant's nest.
Something shamanic occurred,
in the chanting and the dancing
and the clear vision of each ired insect.
How we flowed, in our campaign, never wholly still,
circling the black tide, we wore it down: from above:
down into that diamond crevice, to the eggs and to the queen.
'Try one' you said, 'they taste of sugar'.
It did not.

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