Transport Craft

by Hall Gardner

You remembered how those gigantic transports once soared

one by one like vultures over your sandbox where your model jets roared

strikes against tanks and toy soldiers. You were not even born when 

those same C-130s had once landed—then jammed with aluminium 

 

cased coffins draped in Red&White&Blue…. My poorer cousin from

the Blue Hen state (with its own Mason Dixon Line neatly dividing northern corporations

from southern chicken farms), you took the first chance you

could to see the world after those evil Saracens struck the WTC and Pentagon.

 

Now far from your Dover sand box you play volleyball and soccer

with some of your fellow GIs on the beach next to shark-infested waters. 

Some flew in from Afghanistan; others got it easy in Kuu-wait;

and other warriors, like yourself, are on weekend leave from I-raq.

 

“It’s not so bad… but not too much…” you start off affirmatively,

“to do sometimes… not at all like they say it is in the News.”

You pause a bit, staring off over the dunes. You’ve said exactly 

what you’ve been told to say… Your toes in the sand fidgeting nervously.

 

“Yeah, it’s great to take a break, if only for a couple of hours,

but ya’ not allowed no more than two beers per night!” Even worse,

you now find yourself transported to a land where it’s even dangerous 

just to glance at the flash of a woman’s eyes behind black shrouds. 

 

 

“At night… the barracks are jus’ a couple hundred feet from the latrine… 

if ya’ got ta’ go, ya’ got to take a flashlight to check for scorpions

scamperin’ at your feet… but just lightin’ a match can

make ya’ a sittin’ duck for snipers…” It would be sometime

 

before the big bad news media even began to murmur that report…

With a wistful smile you continue, “You know I never dreamed 

Dover to be so beautiful… Had always wanted to get the hell out… 

It’s only six more months before I’ll be shipped back…” 

 

      -2005

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