The things they carried from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried:

mosquito repellent, ciagrettes, PACKETS OF KOOL-AID, matches, sewing kits, C rations, two or three canteens of water, M-18 colored smoke grenade, ghosts, USO stationary, pencils, pens, Sterno, trip flares, chewing tobacco, STATUETTES OF THE SMILING BUDDHA, The Stars and Stripes, fingernail clippers, PSY-OPS LEAFLETS, memory, what others could no longer bear, each other, the wounded, the weak, chess sets, basketballs, Vietnamese-English dictionaries, insignia of rank, Bronze Stars, PURPLE HEARTS, Code of Conduct cards, malaria, dystentery, lice, ringworm, leaches, various rots and molds, the land itself, the sky, poise, pride, a kind of dignity, WISTFUL RESIGNATION, stiff soldier discipline, good humor, macho zeal, grief, terror, love, longing, shameful memories, cowardice barely restrained, THE INSTINCT TO RUN OR FREEZE OR HIDE, reputations

Lapham’s Quarterly, winter 2008