Poem by Nels Hanson
Yes, I was an Unknown Soldier
but why the old uniform, always
this body spread a century ago
in a field by woods in France,
trip mine sailing dog tags like
spun maple seeds children call
propellers? Each year for a day
as captive in marble solitary I
hear the same sentences again,
try to shout “Not me!” to stone
that never answers or listens to
sad angels, nameless ghosts on
Halloween. We are whispering
the murdered are reborn when
no one kills and like Valkyries
the saved lift the fallen until far
away a man resembling Cain’s
hurt brother stirs and rises now.
About the Poet
Nels Hanson’s fiction received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Award and Pushcart nominations in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. His poems received a 2014 Pushcart nomination, Sharkpack Review’s 2014 Prospero Prize, and 2015 and 2016 Best of the Net nominations.
sweet and sobering.