Broken body

August sun hid the seagulls
That loudly followed the ship out of the harbor
On deck, homesickness, beer, and slow yawning battled
For precedence before they encounter limits

Euphorically happy, another dead by jumping
The majority waiting calmly in a line
Before they really have to start
Eating, sleeping, drinking together without drill, a unity

Quiet, for everyone gets their weapon
The beach is white, the water is blue
None of the men are thinking of yawning now
Into the forest, but the ground is gray

The ground is gray and muddy
It’s raining, raining, boot after boot
How do I stay in control here
From the green haze, you hear a click

Ears are working overtime
Eyes deny what they see
Hearing, seeing turns into staring
And counting only goes up to ten

It couldn’t, it couldn’t be otherwise
Still raging in your head for days
Borders melt away in waves
You know, soon there’ll be no one at home who believes you

You’re alive, thank goodness, you’re alive
Complete silence around you
Apart from your body that sometimes trembles
or stands motionless like a stone

I’m alive, fear of death, I’m alive
Which I pass on to my children
My legs firmly tied to my fate
What lies there, in the hand of God

©Eddie van Aken, poetry collection: Wolkenridder 2020

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