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Written to honor and thank Duane Cook, past president of Platte Rivers Project Healing Waters, a man I am grateful to call a friend and brother.

“At Ease”

I have seen the faces of war
on men older than my father,
on women the age of my brothers,
on boys the age of my daughters.

I have heard their stories
in generalization and in
great detail; secrets maybe
never shared before.
Some are beyond belief.
I know their truths.

Regardless of who tells the tale
Old, young, male, female
the haunting memory is clear in their eyes
and heard in the soul-less edge of their voice.

There is a connection to the water
that let’s their stories rise
like the fish that we seek.
We wade, cast, and cast again.

We talk,
And as long as we are near-
or in the water,
A visible change occurs.

Their guard comes down
as if they’ve been ordered
“At Ease,”
for the water holds no scars.

Duane is on the right, holding the monster rainbow.