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Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005 10:13 pm

People’s poetry

Edited by Corrine Frisch

This sonnet, a reflection of the darkness of wartime, is also an apt description of any night faced with fear. I like the way in which the poet identifies with the young man and at the same time makes us see that in certain instances we are totally alone, save perhaps those who have faith to sustain them. Peace.
Defense Against Darkness

Mortars explode over head through the night. It’s not hard to sleep until they stop. Desert silence whispers my ears to life Like fog rolling over the cold, damp top of a lake. I listen to the darkness creep over the sand dunes and into my mind. Oil fires are still burning in the distance, raining down a muddy discharge on clean, smooth sand. A cigarette burns across from me. I strain to see who shares in my strife —
a young man laden with fear, hungry and searching, like I am, scanning for life. He flicks his cancer to the ground, his disease. And, crossing into his tent, relies on his knees.
— Jennifer Morgan
Jennifer Morgan, a sergeant in the Illinois National Guard, is a senior at the University of Illinois at Springfield, majoring in English. She says that her stints with the Guard have allowed her see the “many different faces of humanity.”
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