Death of a Marine
Your dreams were taking
place in the Officer’s Club—
dress khaki and gin martinis
attended by all your men
from Guadalcanal to Korea—
“Ten-hut!” under the loping
ceiling fans cutting the summer night.
Joe and Dingy—
Marty and Ralph were all there,
even Davy who you lost at Savo Island.
He was toasting and laughing just like he used to—
slaps on the backs after the salutes
and even though it wasn’t necessary
it felt good. It really did.
Salutes are what you would have liked from me.
Respect and orders followed
Don’t dictators raise sons in their image,
Hussein, Gaddafi, and Kim Jong-il?
But our country stands for what
Davy died for—and because of that
respect draws salutes—
but who wants to salute their father?
You were on the ride out
and this was how your dreams
rolled through your cancer-addled brain
and at the end of each of these phone conversations
you professed your love for me—
drug fueled emotions—
and turnabout being fair play,
unbeknownst to you,
I stood and saluted.
After receiving his B.A. in English from Colorado State University, C.W. Bigelow lived in nine northern states before moving south to the Charlotte, NC area. His fiction and poetry have appeared most recently in Midway Journal, The Blue Mountain Review, Glassworks, Blood & Bourbon, The Courtship of Winds, Poetry Super Highway, Good Works Review, Backchannels, The Saturday Evening Post, New Plains Review, DASH, Blue Lake Review, Short Story Town, INK Babies, Flash Fiction Magazine and Hare’s Paw, with a story forthcoming in Drunk Monkeys.