Autumn 2005 Poetry Competition Third Prize

Rocky Mountain Veteran

by Carol Wolrich

Email: CarolWolrich2@activemail.co.uk


There is clarity in the crystalline snow.

He can be new here. At least, by day,

with his rifle, claiming deer, and his line

to catch brown trout in fresh-water lakes,

amid regimented columns of lodgepole pine.

But, at night, heat haunts his mind; in

a place of wet grime on putrid skin. And

the sweat of self-loathing.


When the chopper finally came, they had

strapped him down, still fighting. Allowed

to keep his necklace of trophy flesh;

a souvenir to take stateside. Blood-gelled,

on a scrap of leather string; unlucky for

some - thirteen. Buried long ago. Discarded

with purple hearts and comrades' photographs.

These days, he hunts alone.


©2005 Carol Wolrich


Carol would love to hear what you think of her poem - email her now


Back to Poetry Competition