David McKay Powell
THREE IN MEMORIAM PATRIAE
1. the bb wars
I suppose we could have put an eye out
or bruised bone,
unlike the welts that we said could happen falling down.
Then the drying of tears
before we could again show our faces,
and the calming of wounded tigers:
No grudges -- no revenge.
The dashing among the blurred browns
and lying prone in the needles,
rolling out of danger like movie superstars,
covering each other and falling
with splinters flying like sparks.
And we four grimy, black-clad soldiers laughed at it;
and with blistered trigger fingers
and war wounds and tales like old men,
we returned to sit around icy red Kool-aid,
knowing the war would continue another day.
The woodchopper chops every day,
behind the solitary artist's trailer:
it echoes well in the neighborhood of trees.
The birds are still living and singing
on the side of the street still barren
of the spi-spi-spa of pellet rifles.
father one: I hear the metal ringing of dumbbells (sometimes)
coming from my own garage,
farther father: and the hammer, ringing from the barn,
from an old man whose cracked skin folds in a smile,
his body now crumpled in creation and repair.
Across the street, I hear crying,
from someplace I chirped years before,
from the same place I heard that gunshot
one summer ago,
when a good friend learned about life:
how it comes to be
and where it shoves you.
3. the backyard boxer
Blood splashes the leather
glistening in a ray of sun through
browning broken barn glass.
leaking into each strike
of tri-ple-it tri-ple-it tri-ple-it
the wounded tiger rushing
on in an incoherent
wounded onto burnt grass
and dry soil.
Darting so ground-low
he feels the parting of wind
over the grass;
Glaring skyward till the sky
is gone, then pouncing and
feeling the resistance of
skin and muscle and bone
and hearing the crack of red leather
Purple twilight sits on his nose
and the eyes of his hunter lose him
in the atmosphere.
Date of Birth:
Little Rock, Arkansas
Procenium, AretÃ, Words : The Literary Society of Arkansas 1998 Anthology
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