Poetry,  Special Issue

The V.A. Waiting Room, PTSD Counseling, 11 a.m. by Ron Riekki

I am waiting.
I am waiting
to go from one room
to another room.
I used to wait
to go from one base
to another base.
I went from a base
where a guy committed suicide
to a base where the instructor drowned a recruit during training
to a base where a Marine put his gun in his mouth
and another kid was killed by the Guardia Civil
and then another base where everyone lived
because it was only C-school
and thank God we all got to live in C-school
and then another base where a Marine drank himself to death
and three of us died in a plane crash
and then another base
where three more died in a helicopter crash
and I stood there
to see what would happen
and death is what happened
and death stands in the room with me now,
looking at me with big cloudy-ass eyes.


Ron Riekki wrote My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting in Extinction (Loyola University Maryland’s Apprentice House Press), U.P.: a novel (Ghost Road Press), and Posttraumatic: A Memoir (Small Press Distribution).  He edited Undocumented: Great Lakes Poets Laureate on Social Justice (Michigan State University Press), And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017 (MSU Press), Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (MSU Press, Independent Publisher Book Award), The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (Wayne State University Press, Michigan Notable Book), The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise (McFarland).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *