John-Ward Leighton

HEADACHE

It doesn’t smell like victory.
Nightmare,
stuck on a winter road
wheels spinning
beside a lake I haven’t seen in years.
Surreal conversations
with men long dead.
The ground comes up at
break neck speed
feet together, roll
and the dream re runs
and I fall and land again.
I look out over the frozen
hard light lake
and wonder why I’m here?
Then fall from the sky again
land, roll,
and view the frozen lake
from the prone position.
The sound of truck wheels spinning
and nonsensical shouted commands
from long dead comrades.
Falling from the sky once again
feet together, roll,
awake tangled in my bed clothes
a headache and a foul taste in my mouth.
Wondering if I’m going to be late for parade
some forty five years in the past?
Wondering why long dead comrades
are still shouting commands at me.
Pop a couple of pain killers,
dress, splash some cold water on my face,
grab my bag
and leave for my morning
coffee ritual
and barely planned day.
My pounding headache
quieted to a dull roar,
Thinking,
“Airborne!
All the way.”