Veteran

A poem by Clyde Kessler

The remedy is to walk off
cold along the pond dam,
and wave down your reflection,
because you have teased it,
and swore it can’t be you,
can’t be sixty-two winters faked
with silence. That fool Asian war
that your oldest cousin died in,
was it forty years, tricked,
full of Washington, full of
Potomac traffic, speckled gulls
heckling the landfill crows.

The cure is to forgive
the cure, to ramble up
across another moonrise
fogged into your skin.
It’s all packed silently,
and moving against you,
on the Metro, too many
phones reading themselves,
the fast lack of slow days.
The subway works the middle
of everywhere, until it’s gone.
You remember to get off
at the next stop. The only
stars are jet lights over Reston.


Clyde Kessler’s poems have appeared in recently Mad Swirl, Juked, and Queen Mob’s Teahouse. He lives in Radford, Virginia with his wife Kendall and their son Alan. Several years ago he added an art studio to his house and named it Towhee Hill because towhees sing in his yard.
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