Mission Aborted by Bruce Michael Foley



I got careless with honey
at morning tea, then
later on, the ants came in battalion strength,
unawares of a newly purchased can of RAID;
cockroach and insect killer spray.

The phone rang –

It was Lulu, calling from Oregon
up there visiting family, small talk followed
as she was checking in on me;
I went on about the ants and dripping honey.

“You don’t have to use that harmful spray,”
she said. “Just do what I do, use some
wet paper towel, wipe them up and throw them away.”

Sixties flower child, she’d wait on the monsoon season
rains, flush out from hiding with a flood, the Viet Cong
to surrender on terms of peace, make them prisoners of war.

But I still had that Eagle, Globe and Anchor thing going on.
The distant yet familiar shout of my Senior Drill Instructor
calling me a sissy-girl, reminding me that Marines do only
one thing and do it well;
search, engage and kill the enemy.

Went through my head, the big black bold
lettering on the shiny new yellow can called out,
“Use water, they’ll regroup, recover, then return.
Use the napalm once, and your job is done.”

Should I send a message, saturate
the kitchen air
with burn and sizzle, sickening stench;
the dying soaked in chemicals, pleading?

I paused.

Admiring their combat discipline, quietly
marching in single file to carry out orders;
capture that sweet sticky protein for their young, hidden
back at base camp, up in the storage closet, behind
a wall, or down in the dark tunnels of the baseboard
by the stove.

The temptation was great.

Remembering Lulu, turning on the faucet
I reached for paper towels.

indexBruce Michael Foley about Bruce Michael Foley. I was born across the bridge from Boston, Massachusetts, in Cambridge, as July 4th fireworks exploded over the Charles River, just a stone’s throw from Harvard University. At age two, my family moved to Somerville, Ma.,where I was raised in a rough blue-collar environment, playing many sports. In 1998 I relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada. Here, I work among special needs children and teach martial arts. Poetry began in high school, but took off in a more dedicated way in later years, along with resuming music studies, guitar. My poems are published in various anthologies; including Impressions, Prism, and the Mighty Voices Of Thunder Series, sponsored by the international poetry website, “Allpoetry.” I was a featured poet in Lyrical Somerville February 2015, a Boston based publication, as well as being an “Editor’s Front Page Pick,” for the month of March 2016 on Allpoetry. A defining moment that contributed significantly to further interest in writing was a First Place Award from the International Poetry Fellowship, for my poem, “Among Fields of Cotton.” Presently, I am happy to have the opportunity to explore various forms of poetry with Mr. Bruce Isaacson, Poet Laureate of Clark County Nevada.

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