Dec. 9, 2013 “Soldier Boy”

[NOTE: sometimes I really hate the new gmail format, which occasionally causes me to prematurely send an e-mail when I’m trying to do keyboard editing functions. Forgive the unfinished mailing of 5 minutes ago.]


Not much is known about toady’s featured poet. It is assumed she was born somewhere in Indiana in 1997 or 8. She currently lives somewhere on Indianapolis’s east side. Casey Beidelman is a published poet and the niece of long-time MV member Patrick Beidelman. She may also have a long-time MV member as her current writing instructor.
Her apprehension about family reunions is summed up in her name’s anagram, “Maybe I’d see clan.”
This poem first appeared in the pages of a high school literary magazine. I like the combination of free verse and formal rigor here: no rhyme, no particular meter, but the repetition of short-lined tercets. There’s also a lot of back-and-forth words and imagery; for me that goes hand in hand with both the speaker’s approach to the subject matter (pro or con?) and also thoughts about deployment, return, redeployment; “this endless rhythm.” Does the rhythm stop when the soldier turns “homeward once again?” -ed.
Torn away too young

Yet, not violently removed
Naïveté leading
Starting excited
Reality steps ahead
Adventure turns sour
Choices regretted
Looking back in harsher times
Reluctantly forward
Disciplined in fear
Face to face with “adventure”
Resigned to new fate
Forward to the front
Determination forming
Resolve found in strife
Whizzing pain passing
No longer past or future
Only in present
Moving drearily
Battle burdens carried now
No identity
A faceless soldier
A past decision causing
This endless rhythm
Finally the end
Joy upon awakening
Into the real world
Homeward once again
Forever marked by choices
March on Soldier Boy

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