Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay


As a boy, I used to play at soldier
with my friends. Every stick
became a weapon. Even the crayons
lined up in their box stood at attention.
My father taught me not to cry.
I learned all feelings stay inside,
like blood and bones under the skin.

Now I’m a soldier. Flying far above
the earth, I look down at the fields,
neat blocks of green and red,
puzzle pieces spilled out on the table.
In my uniform, my helmet and goggles,
I am one with those behind me,
guns slung over their identical shoulders,
boots spit-polished to a mirror-shine.
I am so much larger than myself.

Robbi Nester is the author of four books of poetry– a chapbook, Balance (White Violet, 2012) and three collections. These include A Likely Story (Moon Tide, 2014), Other-wise (Kelsay, 2017), and Narrow Bridge (Main Street Rag, 2019). She has also edited two anthologies– The Liberal Media Made Me Do It! (Nine Toes, 2014) and an Ekphrastic e-book, Over the Moon: Birds, Beasts, and Trees, published as a special issue of Poemeleon Poetry
. Her poetry, reciews, and essays have appeared widely in journals and anthologies.

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