Eight: Duty (poetry series)
“He is lauded for standing by his post”
“Standing by at his post…”
“Hmm…yes. Why say it? Are you happier about all this,
for picking nits?”
“Well, close by. Nearby. Remaining, anyway, as duty
required. We might find…”
“Might find…evidences, do you mean?
Perhaps you aren’t fit for the work.”
“You think I’m joking. I’m not joking. Don’t you think we will?
It must not, six years gone, be very horrid.”
“Sometimes great pressures cause a kind of…fusing.”
“And what does that mean?”
“Have a look. See how we climb the hill, but don’t
yet see…whatever’s to be come upon, the other side?
The view resolves slowly.”
“Something, you’re saying, that doesn’t look like much…
Will tell its story? A creeping revelation? Could be apt.”
“Another facetious remark. Any more of that tone…
I’ll radio back, have us turned around.”
The comrade falls silent. He does not know how
he produces this effect. He feels sober, counts himself somber, even
…to the degree that shades apply…
Shades…mild ha. A number here, may be, haunting.
At their posts. Close by.
Willing, he counts himself, with respect, to face down parts,
identifiable and not.
Pack them away in the foam-lined box
Sober, somber…if he said it, it would be taken for a wisecrack.
(2020, Stephanie Foster)