Poem 286 ± March 16, 2016

Jason Vanfosson
The Backs of Men

I ride on the backs of soldiers
drafted for their love of love.
Soldiers who left behind
families fretting over hospitals,
futures filled with cures
for an ailing heart.

I ride on the backs of soldiers
knowing the realities of war.
Soldiers who witnessed
fires in the eyes of civilians,
souls escaping from combat
buddies and villains.

I ride on the backs of soldiers
suffering for our lives.
Soldiers who never
paraded down Main Street,
heard “Thank you for your service”
whispered in an airport.

I ride on the backs of men
never called hero.

Jason VanfossonJason Vanfosson is a doctoral student at Western Michigan University where he researches American boyhood, queerness, and travel in children’s literature. His work has appeared in the Language Arts Journal of Michigan. You can learn more by visiting his website at jasonvanfosson.com.

This poem is not previously published.