David R. Bublitz’s Combat Pay (Main Street Rag Publishing Company, 72. pp. $14, paper) is divided into two sections: “War” and “Home.” Each contains more than a dozen poems. The “War” section touches on subjects you’d expect: Reveille, field stripping, living on base, dry fire, basic training, being drafted, and the like.
“Home” contains the poems “Faith,” “Army Wife,” “My Father is a Spent Shell,” “Combat Pay,” “Walking Dad,” “Infidelity,” “When You Hear the Air Raid Warning,” and “Sleep Smoking.”
The poems are mostly short and easy to understand. I found them worth reading and even fun to read. Here, for example, is “Fighting Weight:”
My father’s hands never young
Return from the desert red
Where the folds of his palms
And finger prints used to be.
He’s reduced to 150 pounds bound
For home in the bed of the truck.
My dad’s finally back.
I tell a friend I produce
A picture, Dad’s one knee up
And arms loose across.
The friend looks and frowns.
Where’s the rest of him?
That’s a good question. A page or two later comes the poem, “My Father is a Spent Shell.” Some of the answers to that question are in this poem.
The poems in this book are tough to read in one sitting, but worth the effort. It’s an effort. I happily made it, and encourage others to do the same.
David Bublitz’s Facebook page is: facebook.com/combatpay