Skip to main content

Five Star Hole, a poem by Grambi Dora

Five Star Hole
by Grambi Dora

Iraqi sandstorms whip up the air.
Lunch time, the hottest hour

The range walk to the dining facility
an open bar of AK-47 rounds
RPG’s, and IEDs

It’s standard to carry
whale loads of weaponry and ammo,
combat gear at the ready.

There might be a little sand in my ears,
but I guarantee my M-16 and M-249
seasoned with CLP are
locked, cocked and ready
to kill. 


Cleaning my weapon is an art

Hand sanitizer,
Q-tips and baby wipes

Mom thinks I was use them
to keep my ears clean and take showers,
while the ample supply of Kotex tampons
works magically on bleeding bullet wounds


My battle buddy and I take turns
sleeping in the sand after digging
our hasty fighting positions
with our Army
green entrenching tools.

The hole is quiet.
We listen, wait, always
alert and scanning the area.

My pockets have pokey bait. Grandma sent         
peanut butter granola bars. I give
half to my infantry buddy.
He doesn't get care packages.

We’re not in this hole to eat the buffet,
but I appreciate snacks from Grandma.
We don't know the next time we’ll chow,
but we know what we’re supposed to shoot.

I've got my compass on my first belt
loop to the left and my flashlight
attached to my Kevlar.
Dog tags stick to my chest
like a sunburn.

Something is moving. I nudge my battle
buddy. Quick as a rabbit
he wakes and gets his weapon in focus.

It’s the sergeant through the kill zone scope.

He says we did a good job on our shift.
We get to move to another hole,
a five star hole. It's got extra sandbags.

Bio: Grambi Dora served served 4 years of active duty in the Army from June 2005 to June 2009. Hee graduated from Indiana University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in General Studies, with concentrations in English and Psychology. He works full time at the Indianapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He enjoys writing, playing guitar and doing community service.