C.E. Chaffin

Dan's Alamo

One gunboat blew up
on the tumid river.
They beached the second,
radioed for help
and fled into the jungle,
set their rifles
on low walls of ruined
temple stones and waited.

For hours they aimed
into uncertain leafage
imagining the blood of enemies
staining the jungle floor.

Kills couldn't be confirmed
but bullets answered.
Three decades later
Dan can't remember
when the birds descended.
Each night he dreams
he's got one round
for the swarm
of advancing silhouettes,
puts on his bayonet.

Though predictable
as his wife's snoring
or the mesquite
out the window
scraping stucco,
the dream is always
terrifyingly new.

He wasn't Bowie or Travis,
just one of four grunts
squeezing rounds
at charcoal ghosts.
In his dream
the birds never come.

C. E. Chaffin edits the Melic Review, and teaches a one-on-one intensive online poetry tutorial for a fee. Widely published in web and print, he has two books to his credit-- both unfortunately out of print. His work was most recently featured at Tryst. Meanwhile he continues his essays on T. S. Eliot at Melic . He has four kids, a grandkid, a dog, a turtle, lots of plants, and a beautiful wife-also his editor, Kathleen Chaffin. C.E. may be reached at cechaffin@hotmail.com.


 

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