A Man in Old Fatigues
The New England Center for Homeless Veterans, Court Street, Boston

                        I saw him on the street, a man in old fatigues
                        with switchback eyes that saw where he has been,
                        right left, left right, patrolling in minefields,
                        a hidden, shabby, homeless-seeming man,

                        old soiled news in cigarette-stained hands,
                        a thing held like armor, clutched like a shield,
                        but useless to protect against, withstand
                        invisible straight hits to soldiers' creed:

                        Do not admit that enemy called fear!
                        Get real! Your enemy's between your sights!
                        That's what war requires what you're here for!
                        Across a gulf I wondered, infantry?
                        Hot jungle fights, in rain, in mud? High nights?
                        Hands twitch, eyes flinch, mind stuttering with war.

by Contributing Poet:     Ellin Sarot   Copyright 2015
      ( First published in   2015 )

Bio:   Ellin Sarot   is a poet and editor in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her poems have recently appeared in Paterson Literary Review, String Poet, Deronda Review, and the anthologies Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence and Les Femmes Folles: The Women 2013. Recent readings have been in New Jersey and New York. She was the 2014 Gish Jen Fellow for Emerging Writers at the Writers' Room of Boston. A poem of hers was awarded second prize in String Poet's national contest in 2014.

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