"He Was Far More Complicated Than That" (Poem for Sgt. Raymond Plouhar)
Staff Sgt. Raymond J. Plouhar, 30, of Lake Orion, Mich.
Plouhar died June 26 from wounds received while conducting combat
operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th
Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp
"He Was Far More Complicated Than That"
He was the hugest heart
in a helmet, grinning into his future,
a purple sunset over Michigan's former
majesty. A full boy. A hunter
and a camper. Good thoughts all around.
On his father's Harley, with a grandfather's
Bible tucked in his war shirt.
Heaven on his sleeve, a sleek passage
into duty. Choice, an inheritance
in the hours of ironing and polishing
the buttons. Poetry on the lips of the survivors,
lines about sacrifice and the selfless, believing
conditions were improving, an expedition
into history. He was indestructible.
A winning force. A signature on the passing
of time. A camouflage and ramrod
boy. A fighter. He preferred peace,
a lakefront home. The walls of collages
introducing the chapters. Posing Dragons.
Wrestling circles. A wedding day.
The sun busting through the senseless
trees. Something like an animal huddled
beyond the field. A trained sniper.
"This is who I am." Love. A misfire.
"A Marine to the very end." Endlessly.
~ Lorna Dee Cervantes
July 8, 2006