Down at Dawn

By Joseph Hesch

I saw the green-capped marine
by the dusty roadside,
a disheveled pile of khaki
drab on the ground by his side.
He frantically shifted his gaze
down, up,
down, left,
down, right,
down.
In-place he paced, amid
frenzied fight-or-flight indecision.
They never saw their attacker coming,
nor even where he went
in the dawn’s dark shadows.
He cannot (can he?)
leave behind the crumpled mass
that was his partner, his comrade.
I’d heard that mallards are like this,
but I, myself, never saw it before.

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3 thoughts on “Down at Dawn

  1. Joe, if I've said it a thousand times, I'll say it again…you bring such a "poetic" form of realism to all your pieces. You place us roadside, watching this boy, the indecision, the fear…and like you, though I've never daw it before, I feel as though I have after reading this piece. Another standing ovation from the nosebleed seats as we watch YOUR star rise! 🙂

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