Two Poems

by Vern Fein


Right after I was born my Father and Mother
adopted a pet black lamb
and brought it up the rickety stairs
to their second story apartment
so they told me
and it played with me through my toddling
until it got bigger and butted everything
and broke a lamp and butted me
which is why
so they told me
they sent it to a farm
for shearing and death.

They never told me that my Father
was the black sheep of our family,
tupped my Mother,
sheared her heart,
did that to his next wife
and his next wife.

I found out about his betrayal,
decided to be the white sheep,
be faithful to my wife,
not bring a strange pet
into our marriage
so I didn’t have to
hide anything
from my children,
butt them
in their hearts.


No wailing siren.
No in-school A-bomb drill.
No duck and cover.
Just a zinc-oxided old guy trying
to sit down on a beach blanket.
Safe landing.
Crawling, worm-inching
toward a bright green
beach towel pillow
to rest his head.
Still no peace in the world.
Peace in his world.


A retired teacher, Vern Fein has published over seventy poems and short pieces on a variety of sites, a few being: *82 Review, The Literary Nest, Bindweed Magazine, Gyroscope Review, VietNam War Poetry, Ibis Head Review, Spindrift, Former People, 500 Miles, and The Write Launch, and has non-fiction pieces in Quail Bell, The Write Place at the Write Time, and Adelaide, plus a short story in the the online magazine Duende from Goddard College.


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