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JOINT MANEUVERS by Duane Vorhees


Duane Vorhees

Di dandles her tea like any grande dame

and she handles her whiskey as well

as a man.

I was a sergeant in the cavaliers.

I prized my targets

and my bandoleer,

my spurs

and my plume.

A chest of medals occupied

my room, none claimed in battle.

Di was a waitress.

She wanted to stop pretending princess

rise top.

and to the

One with ambition seeks one with regret.

“To starve the kitchen, feed a cook’s credit.”

One day when marching my tattoos

and flutes,

my eyes kept watching Di’s

bonnet and boots.

My parade dismissed,

this hungry soldier,

Sir Knight on a quest,

double-timed over to where she still stood.

As fierce

and as free

as fire from a woods,

Di saluted me

with crisp precision.

I saluted her back

stiff at attention--

never felt the flak



The wounded man

wed the ambushing bride.

And I never fled

the combat that came.

My new purple heart

marked my

rise to fame

and Di’s

state of art.

As I rose in rank it was her mission

to protect my flank and her position.

One with ambition


one with regret.

“To starve the kitchen, feed a cook’s credit.”

Di’s deft riding crop

urges her stallion to boldly gallop

beyond battalions.

Duane Vorhees is an American poet who lives in Thailand.

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