Nancy L. Meek


What does it mean to some to kill,
to overcome an ingrained resistance
to slaying one’s own kind at will,
to face dreams filled with insistent,
faceless nameless ghosts trying
to return the favor, as the Euphrates,
slumbers nearby, ignoring the crying
of a soldier dying inside… his Hades
flickering in and out of his REM sleep,
seeing again phantom trucks coming
straight at him, feeling his heart leap
as their tanks explode, the heat numbing
his senses for a split-second, a second
that can end his life before his first kill,
the ghostly drivers no match for him
or his comrades, who promptly fill
the fleeing suicide bombers with grim
reality, over in one ephemeral instant;
but a diuturnity as he tosses, sweating,
the meaning clear, in ghosts persistent.

Submitted for the December 2004 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “Diuturnity