TO LOSE THE EARTH
"To lose the earth you know for greater knowing; to lose the life you have for greater life;
to leave the friends you loved for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more
large than earth----" Thomas Wolfe
There are times when I feel that this war will consume me with its caustic
taking the way it did with you and there won't be a cadence left that doesn't recall
a Garand stock hitting cement in ceremony—and there won't be a word to describe
you unmolded by the march of military rhetoric
they called you a hero and a warrior and yes you had the soul of Achilles himself with wrath
enough for this world and the next but you always knew when to drop your dog tags
on the nightstand and let the world have its thirst even if just for a night when our tongues'
nomenclature had a hundred sounds for home—when I knew what it meant to have something
I didn't want to let go of
Now we both look at each other as if strangers as if two comrades wearily carrying each other
through a minefield of ghosts I am unable to see—tonight, come near, let me protect you with
my words build you with poetry let me break into that place outside of all and wrap myself
around those memories that are easing away into those chasms of the past let me hear
your sorrows and songs, let me hear you love again.
Amber Adams currently attends the University of Denver for an MA in Literary Studies, where she focuses on war poetry and trauma literature. She received a BA in English from Regis University. She spent seven years in the United States Army Reserves and was deployed under Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her poem "The Crossing" was a finalist in Narrative Magazine's Fourth Annual Poetry Contest.