War Veteran, Texas (from Amerika 1926)

This week I’ll be publishing daily poems written in response to photographs from E.O. Hoppe’s Amerika: Modernist Photographs from the 1920s (2007, ed. Phillip Prodger). Some of these I may compile into a manuscript (tentatively: Amerika 1926). This is #5 (the last).

EO Hoppe War Veteran Texas

War Veteran, Texas, 1926 by E.O. Hoppe

War Veteran, Texas

As long as men rule over other men, there will always be war,
there will always be veterans. Each will return home, a symbol

or sacrifice. Each will return to find trenches and barbed-wire snaking
through their lawn, their bedrooms. Open skies are never clear.

Every man is a nation, and when it comes to his own self-preservation,
every man is a nationalist.  No medal or monument will fill the wounds.

Not even he knows what he fought for, fought against.


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