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Below is the poem entitled Fragments which was written by poet Odin Roark. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Poet's Notes

Everyday reports of war seemingly everywhere can impact some of us in ways we'd prefer to avoid. But, however daunting a nights fragmented dreams, their genesis begs respect, prophetic perhaps the message. The infinite jest speaks beyond its pages. “Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.” David Foster Wallace.

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They will be...

you do these kinds of things
can't be helped
imagination Band Aids some call them

I know
you just do
fingers wrapped ‘round cold steel
it's then
it's now
differences slight

like playing marbles
tripod-cradled taws and steelies
"Bombers" "Pots"
"shooters" all
aim straight
roll in the hole

you wait a long time
you know there's more to touch
you'll cradle other steel
formidable kind
you know
you hope
you're a kid

you'll do your best
find other holes
aim and shoot
some you dig
some dug for you
explosions know indiscretion


they say beginnings never end
always renewing
like dawn's edge ever changing
reds oranges yellow
lying on your back
knew those once
before the night never ended

smell the smell now
it's all the same
keeping life going
that's what they do

amplified speakers seek help
always there's a page
off the wall
in your battlefront ISP
headgear no different
always the call
always the request
imagination tools
battle tools

you know what's coming
you just do

the swoosh of auto-doors
distant sirens
always there's sirens
always there's arrivals

like now

drinking my coffee
another first day of a new year
every year so familiar
pushing through iron air
waiting to be free
to see a sunrise again
to know a candle still glances

but now

just footsteps
coming at me
a walk I've known
Bethesda recall
remembering when sight
remained at the ready
absorbing fetid squalor
half naked Afghan children
barbarous patience
staring wildly as we passed
elder's eyes theirs
we cradling shooters defenseless

too many buried IEDs

I adjust
steps almost here
sitting seems forever
that's wheeled-life for now
robotic legs in the works
back there
back in Bethesda
coming soon
for now
standard issue dark glasses
covering eyes that once were

footsteps stop
standing now
in front of me

Taking my hands
"Lt.'s a boy."

"Shall we...your wife is waiting"

my hands grip the steel
following todays fragment
forging yesterday's pieces
a doctor
an imagination beyond

rolling my hands atop the chrome and rubber wheels
my imagination Band Aids

how shiny it all is they tell me
this transport
this evidence
today's somewhere

will he let me cradle him
will he look at me with hatred or compassion
will he know we have made him
what he might become



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