My Dad speaks about his military service sometimes – joined a few years after the WWII dust settled. When he does, there’s a look in his eye that’s like a key to a secret language, as if a language that only other Servicemen and Servicewomen can understand. Like a code or oath, or both; or an acquired knowledge brandished, then branded by the stress of Living Soldier. Certainly acquired with pride. But, perhaps that secret code, that acquired knowledge, is the seed of a cerebral failsafe- a personal Gone Elvis.
Gone Elvis, according to the Oxford Dictionary of the U.S. Military, is a Slang term for “to have died or disappeared, or be lost, missing in action.”
This poem is inspired by Women in Uniform who come home from a War Zone, to find that they are not whole.
Camouflage is my favorite color
‘Cause I Am Gone when it carries me under.
I’m the girl next door you never saw
In my gun and my boots with my mind done gnawed
I’m the girl next door that’s hard to see
I’m the color of the landscape on the streets.
I’m Gone Elvis – don’t know how
Still a uniform and a number now.
I fight the war that’s in my head
Gotta soldier that, or I’ll end up dead.
I’m Gone Elvis ’til the day I die
‘Til the bullets fall or my spirit flies.