Robert Farnsworth

Casque Bleu

So he must so he
stands up from within
outlandish leaves,
casts away the rifle,
tries on a smile he’s
never felt his face
make before, and as
they approach gazes
down the valley of
the unpronounceable
river, whose stony
shallows, when he’d
scrambled to this refuge,
had quietly bickered
in the dark, and now
glitter furiously just
above the shoulder
of his captor, above
the vicious muzzle
of his gesticulating
gun. Sudden cloud-
crossed memories:
his daughter’s sharp
voice, starlings routed
from an oak… How
warm the blue helmet
feels under his fingers,
as he stumbles down
this slope, dislodging
historical stones, up-
right in a posture
of excellent repose.

Robert Farnsworth
Casque Blue first appeared in Off the Coast.