Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Song for a Damaged Man

They celebrated Hitler's birthday, but not yours.
I guess your Czech parents were busier than mine.
It's not their fault.

But, look- your father's beer bought you that white horse,
for one whole week-
until the Germans were on the run again. Your thighs
remembered the bony spine
for months.

Meanwhile, I was busy being born
in New York City. For me, the war's that
photo of the nurse and sailor smooching
in Times Square;

the war to me is you shouting in your sleep.
It's not your fault.

And I,
I know only that our American horses pull
sleighs in snowy woods, and that our American poets
have promises to keep.

At least that's what I thought I knew
before I met you.

It's not my fault.

Barbara Riddle

April 1, 2005

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