Saturday, August 15, 2015


when I was a child
I heard them talk about war
I heard them talk about jobs
and the breadlines
and the poor
they never offered an answer
to my childlike insistence
I made them mad
to make them consistent

I held sparklers once
on the fourth of July”
saluted the flag
with my wide-eyed dolly
and ignored the lies
because I was ignorant
and a child to boot
because I was everywhere
because I was youth

my father never talked
about the war or marriage
only common sense
when he wasn’t enraged
on a coast guard cutter
he radioed intent
happily aboard what was just another
escape from the life
of flaming undercover
he was gay he had a lover
he laughed in a photograph
meant to slip off the tongue
found by me when I was young
he sailed away from the
family of prying
he had no fear of death
he only feared lying

don’t leave your front door
without a pocket full of change
not the coins, not the money
though it spreads a little honey
make a footprint with anger
make  a chapter unholy
pull up the boots
get them used to walking
the war is far off
the explosions are sulking
fireworks limp like I knew they would
share this distress
with the misunderstood

when I was a child
the world was my oyster
the sand not the pearl
the impending disaster
I knew it was mine
this leftover answer
I am not my father
in fearful shadows
I am a grown woman
asking what do I do now

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