Friday, July 4, 2008

Apologies and a Draft

Hey all, apologies for being incommunicado for so long. Between the MFA residency, book chapter writing, and the ALA conference in Anaheim (from which I am recently returned), my poetry writing (and blogging) has suffered a bit. I have a few rough drafts of some new pieces which I'll post on here as I'm working on them. I've got two I'll post tonight, this is the first. (Again, in super-rough shape, so any and all criticism welcome. The shallow rhyme scheme was just a tool to get me working.)

To the Soldiers of the World

Kiss your mother, soldier,

she hears mortarfire in her dreams.

Kiss your mother, soldier,

she recognizes your face

through the coat of greasepaint

and the rictus of your screams.

Kiss your mother.

Kiss your sister, soldier,

she sees tracers in the dark.

Kiss your sister, soldier,

remember how you pulled her hair

and threatened her first dates

as your bullets find their mark.

Kiss your woman, soldier,

she is as soft as you are hard.

Kiss your woman, soldier,

she sends letters sealed with perfume

that seeps into your fatigues

and often catches you off-guard.

Kiss your woman.

Kiss your children, soldier,

they recite your name in their prayers.

Kiss your children, soldier,

they are too young to know it now,

but later they will judge all men by you

and find none other compares.

Kiss your father, soldier,

feel his scars beneath your hands.

Kiss your father, soldier,

he has been where you now go,

a picture of a man who lived

through war’s hideous demands.

Kiss your father, soldier,

and head off to those foreign lands.

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