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Dawn Patrol

by Randy Brown

there is no happiness beyond
highway speeds and distant static,
armed only with a bullet full of coffee
and a radio hungry for daytime power.

keep alert for four-legged ghosts
that graze across the dark winter fields,
while dreams of trees and barns run black
against the coming civil twilight.

Infantry blue and blaze of orange Signal:
the start of the day before the day,
before the weekend starts …
before the first formation …

and the call to attention.

In 2010, Randy Brown was preparing for deployment to Eastern Afghanistan as a member of the Iowa Army National Guard’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry ‘Red Bull’ Division. After he dropped off the deployment list, he retired with 20 years of military service. He then went to Afghanistan anyway, embedding with Iowa’s Red Bull units as a civilian journalist in May-June 2011. A freelance writer in central Iowa, Brown blogs at: http://www.redbullrising.com.

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