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Sarracino, Carmine, 1944- / The heart of war
(2004)

Bad dreams,   pp. 33-36


Page 35


The wind shifted!
Awake,
images keep flashing:
Hospital ships unload men
like bales all over the Baltimore docks-
Boys. . . pale. . . imploring-thousands!
"Water! Water!" they all cry.
Walt hasnYt enough water!
He moves too slow. Why can't he move?-
His legs stick in deep puddles
of clotted blood! He cannot step!
Oh he cannot move his legs at all!
"Here. . . here! Why don't you take the water?"
asks Mrs. Davis, at his side. "Is it the blurs?
Oh, drink. . . be still now. . . drink, please .
"Yes, yes, the blurs, it's the blurs"
Walt lies, rubbing his eyes,
reaching slowly for the glass
as she wrinkles her nose
and thumps the window shut.
3.
All his life he dreamed of The Friend.
The One Who Never Fails.
To whom nothing needs be spoken.
Intimate as the Self.
But even surrounded-as if in a dream-
by hospitals full of camerados!-
not in one ward, in one row, in one cot,
did he find the unfailing friend. Not Pete.
Not Lew nor Harry nor Fred. Not one.
35


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