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love sonnet to a new K-pot

by Randy Brown

You are a hard green bowl to crack apart,
inscrutable like Chinese egg-drop soup.
I trust to you my noodled self—not heart,
not groin—instead, my gray “brain-housing group.”
In old steel pots, we troops could cook our grub,
or use the liners as a pail for brass.
We washed our socks and cocks in helmet tubs,
and settled on those tuffets head or ass.
Your greater weight now floats on donut foam,
and creases lines across my forehead bared—
with leathered sweatband held in place like Rome
once clipped a crown of thorns, my skull is snared.
But, fragile shell that’s spun from Kevlar thread,
you have one purpose: Save my pounding head.

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 and a previous peacekeeping deployment. 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 about military topics at: His military-themed poetry and non-fiction has appeared in such literary venues as The Journal of Military Experience, Line of Advance, O-Dark-Thirty, The Pass In Review, Scintilla, and Volumes 1 and 2 of the Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors anthology series from the Southeast Missouri State University Press.

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