Finding Work After War
By H. C. Palmer
Our sons join the army to get work being shot at.
For a long time there were simultaneous
wars, so work was good. Now the wars
are winding down and our poor
are unemployed. They phone
government hotlines then get disconnected.
I know a stonemason disabled from battling
his chisel. He says there will always be his kind
of work—thousands of gravestones
stockpiled in the quarries of Vermont.
He says he’s willing to teach,
but worries some might inscribe
their own names.
H. C. Palmer, a retired Internist, served as a Battalion Surgeon with the First
Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1965-66. His work has appeared in New Letters,
Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, War Literature and the Arts, Narrative Magazine,
The New Mexico Poetry Review, I-70 Review, Flint Hills Review, Gray’s
Sporting Journal and other journals and anthologies. His first book of poems is
Feet of the Messenger (BkMk Press, 2017). He works with a veterans writing program in
partnership with the Kansas City Public Libraries, The Writers Place and the
Moral Injury Association of America. See https://www.feet-of-the-messenger.com/