At The Dardanelles
There were more sunflowers
than I expected, more women
in gold scarves, roadside,
walking their children to school.
The landscape filled at dawn
with ghosts of dead soldiers
cradling their rifles like loaves
of bread. The sea was white-
capped, windblown, and we
came to to the point of rocks
and prayed. You pointed to a ship;
I brushed the dirt with the tip
of my shoe. I loved you then,
but I loved the hillsides more,
the meandering dead, missing
Konya and Erzurum and Kars.
How their mothers waited, ironing
postcards sent from the frenzy
of war. And their fathers clutching
blue notices, peppering
their rice and counting days.
February stretched to March,
the days stayed long, and the sea
took up the wounds of the dying.
A native Ohioan, Carl Boon lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches in the American Culture & Literature department at Dokuz Eylul University. His poems appear in dozens of magazines, most recently Two Thirds North, Jet Fuel Review, Blast Furnace, and the Kentucky Review. He is currently at work on his first book-length collection, titled Strawberry & Yes.