Women Vets by Julie Heckman

A woman a soldier a veteran
who has a name. She sits quietly
alone at a table to eat lunch.
There were war-room pals who
returned, yet for some the war
never ended. They are women
who quietly suffer. The quiet
forever more.

The fathers and sons had their
time, spines lowered in battle.
Now the women sit sandbagged
in ammo belts enough to neatly
weave vests with enemy flesh and
blood. They survived the desert.
Living hidden in homes with fences
and the long, lawn nightmare of
something moving on the front,
making her skin crawl.
Never to forget.

Autism by Julie Heckman

More often in boys than girls.
Increasing I find the snap as the
neurons snap into a screen of
smoke defying the darkness in
this muscle game.
I won’t tell you what will happen
a hand or a clue. Friends are
not my own but are gifts to me
from my parents, I can’t pare
or prune them for the synopses
are firing all throughout the fields.

Language grazes me into that
which ceases to have any feelings,
my independence trapped in the
steady risk of loose stones that
never changes.
Like many I need to take care
of myself and communicate with
others but I won’t because there is
no cut off date for the endless days
of culture as it forms outside of me
as some seek a cure and others
want social acceptance.

autism

Ambition by Julie Heckman

Maintain the flux of tides in this sea
where Luna works hard and I find myself
casting the light of her spells and igniting
what is real by candle-light. My body
prefers counterfeit portraits or diaries
of a color in changing pigment. Closed
are my lips to envy’s strict ambition
financing my soul removing the glass
with no price or pretense. I play through
seasons desiring sweet applause each day
staring at my face in a difficult cause, the
actor, the beggar, the sinner the saint
seducers of all mankind.

ball and chain

Christmas by Julie Heckman

Red ribbons fire as we light the lights
And circle the blue, gold and red bulbs
Wrapping them around the noble branches.
The middle-classes will celebrate this
Holiday for there is no day off for war
Ravaged countries. The poverty and slavery
Beneath weapons of anger drown us in this
Holy season. Nations buckle with no security
Framed as a bloody goddess contemplates
A delicate Syrian dance. Pray for the world for
This is what our nation does best… sleep and
Eat knowing there are targeted children
Stepping in hidden pits never feeling
The humanity of their own lives.

pen gun