1 July 20091 July 2009 Main Posts pullback Jennifer Mills what makes the green grass grow ‘Soldiers, what makes the green grass grow?’ ‘Blood, blood, blood, Drill Sergeant!’ – popular US Army training chant before deployment to Iraq cut grass, cut the sentiment. but bug-eyed faces poke glaring from between upended earth dolls left buried by the kids that used to live here but have since left buried as some television ad for trouble elsewhere poor kids hummed in a bloodless bubble the boy who bucketed the dust before the café is a facebust off an IED and they will not haunt me, those nameless traces in the marked earth, ploughed in by the season. we’re tearing the terror at the roots, burying spined seeds that blow i came to spatter earth with the blood of a few unrelated men, not this blood that sits awake on a bathroom wall in the tiled privacy where no grass grows that blacks into the blankets they used to wrap the bodies like the bodies of dogs that blisters easy to the surface of their broken mouths, barking in that dumb tongue that soaks into my untrained sleeves and burns like the lull of fallow guns i am home now, these are dreams and i am safe here, the lawnmower has no memory. in a bright garden the dust can’t haunt me, grass clips that dead sentiment can’t haunt me see, the formation of unhaunted men waiting for the veteran psych, more pills, dream seeds to plant in soiled mouths no grass grows in the desert where no soil lies still and nothing’s sown blood waters only blood and my throat is dry, my cup (cross-posted at walking and falling) Jennifer Mills Jennifer Mills was Overland fiction editor between 2012 and 2018. Her latest novel, The Airways, is out through Picador. More by Jennifer Mills Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 11 November 202211 November 2022 Main Posts On the last day of Subscriberthon, our amazing online editor gives you one last (very good) reason to subscribe Editorial team What's in store for the last day of Subscriberthon? First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202210 November 2022 Main Posts On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, our favourite editor-duo give you reason #1002 to subscribe to Overland Editorial team What's in store for the second-last day of Subscriberthon?