Basic Load

Basic Load


Dayl Wise


Sample Poem

Ode to Boots

You covered my feet,
weathered over time,
a badge of battle,
no spit-shine tip to look into,
no reflection of that lost child.
Your laces always tight,
a mother’s knot.

How far did we travel
before they cut you off?
Others came home,
not you, discarded
like a pair of unwanted slippers
piled in a bloody heap
of clothing and bone.

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"That sly, yet sobering parody of military training manuals is the work of poet Dayl Wise, a New Yorker who runs a bootstrap publishing house dedicated to lancing lingering wounds of the war, such as the one he fought in Vietnam and Cambodia 40 years ago". —Jan Barry, author of Earth Songs: New and Selected Poems