Christina A. Sharik

DROWNING OUT THE MORTARS
(For Chris “Wolverine” Banigan – A ‘Nam Nurse)

She turns the music way up loud
and listens to the sounds,
the tunes, the words, the notes
that disguise the mortar rounds.
“Home” for now is plywood,
ringed with bags of sand
and the familiar songs bring comfort
like the clasping of a hand.
She cranks the song up higher
and listens while the sounds
of night and jets and steel guitars
drown out the mortar rounds.


Chris Banigan died suddenly in her home in Fresno, CA on March 17, 2004. She was an Army nurse who served two tours in Vietnam: 69-70 at the 18th in Camp Evans and Quang Tri and 70-71 first at the 27th Surg in Chu Lai before her final stop at the 91st in Tuy Hoa. She is survived by her parents and more friends than she ever knew existed