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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

The Parade

I watched the caravan of a dead war,
when I was ten.
Long streamers of jeeps and trucks
passing on the street.
The pulsation of a heart beat,
rumble of violence,
like the moving of a river
under a bridge,
a storm descending on little Sandusky,
a speck of dust in mighty America.
Seaport on Lake Erie.
I sat on a curb with Mickey,
my twin, bored
by the brownness of the paint,
the color of the apocalypse.
The end to the greatest carnage
in history.

That our gifted brother was dead
because of this, was another part
of us.
Only later did I understand how
uprooted we are.
How damaged our family was.
How radioactive grief can be
with a half life that reaches
to the end of our days.
Four boys graduated from high school
thrown in the fire,
three deaths with the masque
of a monstrous regret for their dying.
Our star gazer a part of the darkness.

For Mickey and myself
childhood saved us.
Inchoate gentleness saved us.
Innocence saved us.
Time saved us.
The parade lasted days,
and was over.
We went to the play park and played.
There were no barbarians
around us.
No genocidal soldiers.
The Mikado stayed home.
No Gestapo would hound our family.
I remember the puffballs
we loved,
and the summer we lived.

Published inIndex of all Poems