We were peacekeepers. We were heading to war.
I call for Combat Entry Checklist.
I called for helmet, chin-strap, flak vests,
waiting for compass: spinning, steady.
I wait for gyros’ spinning, heading
to Bosnia, black kevlar in kick window.
Kevlar blocked vestibular, the tilt of war.
I remember a farmer pushing a till,
below. A farmer slipping into a hill.
He looked up at us as he cleared his land.
I looked at him, cinched harness, Cleared to land.
I flare, touch ground, reverse torque, remember:
His plow and stare—a torque, ushers precession.
Like a flare in reverse. We were peace: keepers.
Laura Joyce-Hubbard is a Northwestern University MFA candidate and fiction editor for TriQuarterly. Her nonfiction and poetry appear or are forthcoming in Boulevard, Hippocampus, Line of Advance, The Stirling Spoon, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. Recent awards include the Janecek Fellowship from Ragdale Foundation, an NEA fellowship to attend VCCA, and Essay Winner Prize in the William Faulkner Pirates’ Alley Writing Competition. She’s been awarded finalist recognition by The Iowa Review, Hunger Mountain, Ruminate Magazine and Writer’s Digest. Laura served in the U.S. Air Force as a C-130 pilot.