h. edgar hix
Farewell to a Warrior
I say good-bye knowing,
whether in a wooden box
or a stiff pressed uniform,
you who played a soft guitar,
loved a woman,
raised a bird dog from a pup,
will not return.
There is no excuse for the broken limbs.
Less for the broken trees. Houses. People.
Spring storms! God’s biggest children
breaking their toys like any common whelp.
There is no excuse for the wind except
that the wind needs no excuse.
Sitting on the hood of my red Chevy
pickup truck (a man’s machine),
in spread blue jeans with spread blue eyes.
I didn’t remember the ache of beauty
a young man was too pale to see
sitting on the hood of his red Chevy.
I didn’t remember the cheap-beaded, too long,
hand-made and frivolous necklace hanging
between spread blue jeans and spread blue eyes.
I remembered paint on steel but not
how rich with blood her lips were
while she sat on the hood of my red Chevy
as I flashed an illusion of a moment
onto film, not knowing it would rise, vampire
of spread blue jeans and spread blue eyes
that open mine like white coffin lids;
that are white-cold, hypodermic teeth disguised by
sitting on the hood of my red Chevy
in spread blue jeans and spread blue eyes.
(“Farewell to a Warrior” first appeared in Wellspring.)
H. Edgar Hix is an Oklahoman who has been transplanted to Minnesota. Extremes of thunderstorms and snowstorms are common images in his work. While he now considers himself a Minnesotan, Hix will always consider the South to be his home. Hix missed the tail end of the Vietnam War, though his next-to-oldest brother didn’t. He’s had a nephew-in-law and great-nephew in the current wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq respectively. His father and father-in-law were both in WWII. Hix is interested in reading and writing poetry about the soldier/solder’s family experience.