One of Her Own

Yesterday, while I waited for my neurologist at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, an old Marine with a prosthetic leg and a killer grin, said to me, “Hey, Devil Dog, so what she turned you into? She [the Marine Corps] made me a lean, mean, one-legged fighting machine.” He roared, and I joined him with a few complicit cackles.

I’ve been thinking about the old-timer’s question, asking myself, What did a decade of service in the Marine Corps turn me into? The poem below is part of my response:

“One of Her Own”
She didn’t make me.
I was a warrior
(baring teeth and growling)
before she touched my heart
and broke a few bones.

She didn’t make me;
but in her arms
I found my sharpest edges.

No, she didn’t make me.
I was already my Self.
But…
she did look at me,
while chanting, “You are
one of the Few, the Proud,
one of my very own
forevermore.”
.

One of Her Own, by Magaly Guerrero
if you are one of “The Few. The Proud. The Marines.”
then Happy Birthday!
*you look so freaking good for 240 years!*

linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads,Tuesday Platform

Weirdest

Old Mother cooled
at moonrise.

I licked her paws
and her snout, but
her bark didn’t rumble,
she didn’t bare teeth.

I howled in her ear
and whined like a kit,
but she never warmed.

.
Vixen arrived
with the ice.

I let her sniff and lie—
the home was big.
But when Vixen neared
Old Mother, I barked
from a low crouch and
got ready to pounce.

“Weird,” she said,
backing away from us,
“every skulk has its Weird.”

.
Old Mother’s kin crept in
with the warm rains.

“Weird,” Vixen barked,
“there’s man by the water.
With loud firestick
and help of fur traitor.
We’ve to run!”

“Home,” I said to Vixen,
glancing at the dead leaves
covering Old Mother’s bones.
“Home, I defend. We fight?”

“For cold bones and dirt?”
Vixen shook her head
and ran off.

.
After barks and growls
pounded into the home,
I pressed one eye
to a big gap in the door.
A black and white dog
lay unmoving
in Old Mother’s
oaks and weeds;
Vixen—bloodied
from muzzled to belly—
whined and trembled
under man’s firestick.

I didn’t think,
just rushed through the gap
and leapt for man’s throat.

While in midair,
fire exploded in
one of my hind paws,
right before I sank teeth
into man’s flesh.

.
Now, bleeding from a leg stump,
all mangled flesh and broken bone,
I chewed on killer-weeds
and invited Gaia’s last dark.

.
Light and warmth
awakened my eyes,
shock and mirth
made my body rise,
for a leg of Old Mother’s oak
had been added to my might—

Old Gaia blessed her
weirdest.

.
linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Tuesday Platform

Inspired by “Weirdest”, the winner of Expanding Wee Bits of Dark Fiction and Poetry, 5; the original poem was inspired by a drawing in Jeremy A. Bastian’s Discordia (yes, my Luvs, inspiration seems to be running wild around this parts *cough, cough, cough*).

Fox Drawing (detail), by Jeremy A. Bastian
– detail from a fox drawing in Jeremy A. Bastian’s Discordia (see full image HERE)