Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

Soldiers, Like Sunflowers

by Kurt Facknitz

They took the 85 up to Niagara
Just to share a drink.

They were soldiers, like sunflowers,
Falling from the sky into the desert:
A thousand infant pedals
Set in shambles on the sand. 
They looked like children
Next to rockets 
Never fired from the war,
But they all had to go.
That's what we made them for.

They stood like giants
By those charcoal tires,
Made of something carbon-fiber.
All the while the rich men smiled,
Teeth like empty coffins 
Watching calcium deposits
Settle in their bones.
They bought another round 
And died alone.

But some were born for this:
They worked the waters edge
Until the blood dried up. We laughed.
But color photographs
Lose something in translation.
Their swords were soaked in gasoline
To torch the river there;
They fired. and ran. and sang.
And they saw that river everywhere.

Came all the way from Buffalo
Just to get a drink.
The old man's jukebox jazz
Jittered in his glass-

He said I looked just like a boy
He used to know.

Added: 09.04.2010