Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Aaron Belz: "To the Front"

I must no longer ask
the kinds of questions
one asks in poems

or provide the kinds of
answers one inevitably
provides: I am at war

now and must produce
steel, rubber, and rations.
I am at war and must

ship all my questions
and answers to the front.
At the front people

are dying because they
have not enough steel,
rubber, rations, questions,

and answers to beat
the enemy. They are dying
because I am hording

everything for myself
and my family and not
giving it to them.

I will fly this poem,
loaded with supplies, to
the front. I will step into it

as one steps into a cargo
helicopter and inevitably lifts
amid gusts, amid clouds

of dust, and fly until I reach
the front and land
and emerge the hero

with a load of new
rubber, hard steel, fresh
rations, and questions,

many questions, and new
answers, complex answers,
and I will be decorated.

They will whisper
that I did the right thing.
They will smile and be proud.

They must not die.

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