Friday, March 18, 2016

Lt. Powell

When I was a kid, I was his Crunchy Girl,
And there was nothing but him and me,
Coffee on the porch.

When I was older, I began to realize I could reach through him,
Touch a World War.
I realized that his own memories would have
Touched veterans of the Civil War.

I did not come empty-handed, though—
Through me, he could touch the future.

What strikes me in the realization that we are pools,
Surfaces that go deep,
Is that his stories never focused on the
Major Events he’d witnessed,
Never on the World War
Or Vietnam
Or integration:

He told me how he struggled to make a living,
Buried the dead,
Fell in love.

Of all the stories he had to share,
Of all the things he had seen,
What he chose to pass to the future
Was the first sight of a long-legged girl
with black curls

in a yellow linen dress.

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