who knew anything
about it. Out of breath, stuttering
a frightened Elmer Fudd. It must have seemed funny
because the fruit stand owner laughed
at him as he spoke. The customers
laughed. Women and children
laughed. First snickers and giggles then
unhideable guffaws. Finger-pointing,
laughter. Laughter escorting the commander
back to his truck where he retrieved
from the trunk a baseball bat and two SAW gunners.
The laughter quieted.
The customers stepped back
and the store owner ducked
as the commander suddenly swung his bat
into the melons, dates, soda cans,
water bottles, oranges.
perked up from the Humvees,
the guards, the commander screaming,
as his pulp-dripping bat rose and fell.
SAW: Squad Automatic Weapon, a light machine gun
Paul David Adkins graduated from Washington University with an
MFAW in poetry. He has served in the U.S. Army, touring twice in
Iraq and in Afghanistan.