special forces

we dedicate our lives to our nation
zero four thirty kettle, dip bar, halter
deployments everywhere
oak leaf clusters on our pin-up boards
reminders of unspoken scars
we live and die anonymously
always ready

but our bases face threats
of which no mortar can save us
where we transitioned, our initiation night
the sea will take our memories
the wind will destroy our hangars

our commanders prepare
defending our operational readiness
navigating politics and science
zero four thirty
we remain ready


In 2020, National Geographic published an article how the U.S. Military is planning to protect its assets from sea level rise and other impacts due to global warming. This poem explores the dedication and discipline of special forces to be ready for deployment while their commanders are battling politics.