Old soldiers on the beach fight hard to stand
June fog forms up cold ranks to move ashore
mates faces bobbed on waves awash in gore
lost iron blades and helmets rust in sand.
Green swaddled boys jumped to the harsh command
they leap ahead embrace the imps of war
all soldiers on this beach once vied to stand
June fog formed up cold ranks to move ashore.
The fortunate returned from no man's land
to flowers, flags, and the flyover's roar
good luck spread them long years to savor more
the violent change in which each played his hand.
The last old boys will fade soon—none will stand
still fog will raise its rows to drift ashore.
Tyson West has published speculative fiction and poetry in free verse, form verse and haiku distilled from his mystical relationship with noxious weeds and magpies in Eastern Washington. He has no plans to quit his day job in real estate.