My Lai Massacre

October 15, 2007

I grew up in a village too;
horses across the road, black and chestnut.
I remember the weight of their galloping bodies
learning me that life could be like hammers on earth,
landslides. My father would tell me

I was the little boy in the old rhyme,
the boy promised the last bag of precious wool.
I was cocooned in it, and I grew.

Now I am trying to thread a nerve
between my life and yours,

but the spark voids to pain. No soldiers
came one morning, with tools

of a craft more ancient refined
than the long records of the dead
through which I am sifting. No soldiers came
to carve their company’s name in my father’s skin
and prise me from the swaddling.

My Lai Massacre

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2 Responses to “My Lai Massacre”

  1. Hey-really like this one. Think your stuff’s especially good when you include this kind of autobiographical stuff. Lovely images running all the way through too-and the negatives at the end are really effective. Not sure about that particularly long line in the middle-but am thinking you have you’re reasons for not spliting it. It’s really great.

  2. No, I’m not sure about that long line: to be honest I want to alter it at some point. It started at the right length, both physically and in terms of stresses but then got edited and compromised. It doesn’t seem to read any better if I line break it either.

    Glad you like it though.

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