Posted Aug. 22, 2010, at 5:59 p.m.

Soldiers lounged all over the hotel.
Something had happened to their transport plane.
Brown uniforms, shaved heads, and combat boots
conquered the halls and bars as their terrain.

Next morning a civilian, checking out,
complained in a bitter voice, his language strong,
that his mother had barely been to sleep at all
because the soldiers “partied” all night long.

Their young captain heard and then replied,
“We’re on our way to war, cut us some slack.”
“My mother’s old, going to a home!”
the aggrieved civilian, livid, shouted back.

Kids on their way to death, a dying mom:
I suppose if the desk clerk wanted to be nice
he could have waived the charge for the mother’s room.
But he decided against that sacrifice.


Gerald George of East Machias has written books on museums, historic sites and libraries and is a member of the Salt Coast Sages group of writers.