Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Things They Saved

Here's a poem I wrote:

The Things They Saved

Are defined by the things they did not save:
The stained jungle knife
The vertebrae necklace
The gold ring
The noble heritage –
Those things brought ghosts.

Some things were saved:
A black trunk
An empty uniform
A musty flag
Hieroglyph letters
Disembodied medals
A forever widow.
The child

Opens the trunk
Seeks the ring
Inhales the dust
Translates fragments
Imagines incorrect ghosts.

Saved by sacrifice and amnesia
The child grows old
In a boneless house
Roof patched with dim photos
Silent medals lurk in dark closets.
Moth-eaten and stained,
The flag cannot cover.

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