A Veteran’s Journey Home


Steve Fuller

When I ordered up this life, 
Did I expect to sit on the stoop
Pyrenees on lead sitting too.

More guard friend than dog,
For him, my red flannel jersey,
More chew toy than warming.

Together we take in the moist dusk
Of early spring, some rain, some
Snow melted, barely any remains.

We have a journey to make, two,
Sometimes three, maybe at times,
More, depending the day, the season.

For him, I paint a story betwixt dots
Puncturing the black veil draped
Across the giant, rolling orange ball.

He won’t make sense of it, just chase
The ball to its bouncing anticlimax
After a trip round our making home.

I have Peter in my buds, his voice
An old friend smoothing the day’s
Ripples into the stillness of a lake

I’ll now swim. Inside imagination,
These words, this dog, a new man
Emerges from foam. Builds on rock.

Steve Fuller retired from the U.S. Navy in 2019 after nearly 27 years of service serving at sea on ships as small as frigates and as large as aircraft carriers. A visit to the Driftless and a desire for a radical course change brought him home to Wisconsin where he lives on a small parcel of land with chickens and horses and Beaubear the Great Pyrenees. He has been a creative writer since he first saw U2 perform in Live Aid, and now as he returns home after a life of service, he looks forward to sharing more of his writing with willing readers.