Pure Slush

flash ... without the wank

2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 1962

<  Shells

by David O'Neal Red  >


My shoes, fallen foot soldiers,

lie helter-skelter in the closet

tired and heavy with dust;

a few are in proper pairs,

most are apart from their mates.


These wise old combatants,

soul weary and worn-soled,

uppers scuffed and bruised,

will soldier on when asked.


Brown cordovans are new recruits,

untested bar a few skirmishes;

bright and stiff with newness,

they’ll go forth to their assigned duty.


My Marine Garrison Boots

(Bates 50501, Lightweight),

stand tall together at the ready.


The black patent-leather shoes

go annually under dress blues

to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball,

and stand at attention to the Halls of Montezuma

or dance to Waltzing Matilda.


When my loafers see weekend liberty

they don’t loaf about

but march to an energetic stride.

O, the tales they could tell

if their gaping mouths had tongues!


The mangled metal eyelets

and frayed lace-ends of my sneakers

are the destructive work of my parrot,

a Military Macaw.


But, ah, the light tan Bruno Magli

ankle boots, soft as gloves,

bought pre-owned but never worn;

the finest leather -- so princely!

so civilized!

so civilian!

so unmilitary!

Ah, the Bruno Maglies.




published 16 February 2011





published 16 february 2011