Foot Soldier: A Poem

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Foot Soldier

Fog wraps the redwoods.

I breathe it in, choke,

pull a soft cloche over my ears,

penetrate drenched paths

through darkness.

Birds are silent,

tree squirrels shelter,

I run from your comfort

that begins and ends in a dream.

Let the jagged night hold me,

white mist tear my heart;

I shiver at the bus stop,

rude to the stranger at my side,

a blind stab in the dark.

My Thoughts about "Foot Soldier"

Love is a strange and powerful force. Learning to love unselfishly and maturely can take a lifetime. Sometimes people fail to learn this central lesson despite living long lives.

On the way to developing the capacity for unselfish, mature love, people struggle with all kinds of lesser love, including infatuation. Anyone who has loved in vain, or whose romantic love is (or seems to be) unrequited, might easily relate to this poem. I wrote it to express the intensity of feelings that seem to go unnoticed or perhaps are simply not returned--and the misery of the lover bearing those feelings. In the poem, being wrapped up in herself, the lover hides from the world, finally rebuking a total stranger rather than wishing him or her goodwill simply because of the lover's own internal pain.

I envisioned a kind of film noir setting, a woman striding through fog and rain-soaked trees, hat pulled low, not really seeing the night, which parallels her emotional confusion with its own dense fog.

Regarding the title, "Foot Soldier," the bewildered anger and hopelessness of the frustrated lover in the poem made me think of a soldier somehow keeping on despite the horror of the war he/she fights.

Enjoy Classic Literary Romance!

When one loves to distraction, but has few communication skills or relationship skills, one can easily fall into the trap of loving someone without really interacting with the beloved. For example, in an infatuation or a crush, one falls in love with someone, but usually knows little about that person and usually has very little relationship with that person. Knowing someone well as a person, it's more rare to be infatuated with that person since one knows good and bad aspects, daily habits, and small human traits, both appealing and unappealing, that make the beloved unique. Of course, knowing the beloved that well and still loving him/her is desirable and closer to mature love.

The problem with infatuation is that there is very little true relationship or give and take. Thus, as in this poem, the relationship is more a dream or fantasy, which does not (or has not yet) played out in reality. Often that fantasy is not even shared by the beloved. Infatuation occurs in diverse types of people, from the simply shy or inexperienced to those with self esteem issues to people with actual psychological issues. Even if both partners care about each other, without opening up to each other and committing to a non-fantasy relationship, love is thwarted and misunderstandings and hurt often abound.

Communicating openly and treating each other with complete respect and regard as well as commitment must be part of a love relationship. Without those qualities in both parties, it's all too easy to develop miserable scenarios like that in "Foot Soldier."

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Comments 6 comments

Canscorpion profile image

Canscorpion 5 years ago from Steel Town

This poetry , specially after your explanation of the scenario is quite so interesting. The feelings you have described are in so exactness to what a person feels in such relationship. and yeah. Comparing it to a soldier a warrior makes it so unique. :)

I first related the poetry to a relationship of a lover where her partner is more dominant, overpowering, and she doesn't feel herself getting communicated to him. She is retreating into her shell now. Then i went through the rest of your explanation and realized the aspect of infatuation is a topic here. Brilliant.

Lack of communication brings a lot many problems in every relationship.


healingsword profile image

healingsword 5 years ago from California Author

Hi Canscorpion, Thanks for reading my Hub and my poem in depth! I think your first response makes sense--there are multiple ways to interpret creative writing, after all. And yes, learning to communicate lovingly with one's partner about the things that matter in the relationship is so important--absolutely essential.


Hillbilly Zen profile image

Hillbilly Zen 5 years ago from Kentucky

I really liked the vivid imagery in this one, Ms. Healingsword, and your comparison is apt; love is war, and war is hell. Very nicely done - voted up and beautiful.


healingsword profile image

healingsword 5 years ago from California Author

Hi Hillbilly Zen,

Thanks for reading and for your appreciative comments! While there are similarities, I'll keep love, but wish we could ditch war forever, what about you? :-)


Olde Cashmere profile image

Olde Cashmere 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

Deep writing and many people can relate to the message you spoke of so well. Enjoyable poem I felt a connection with. Voted up, beautiful, and interesting :)


healingsword profile image

healingsword 4 years ago from California Author

Hi Olde Cashmere,

Thank you for reading my Hub and for your supportive comments! I'm glad this touched you. One never knows, when writing, if readers will relate, be moved, be inspired. If that is the case, how wonderful!

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