This lovely little verse fluttered down unto me like a cursing rabid locust drunk on whiskey with a black heart. War news on TV meets online holiday shopping, and voilà, a poem that I hope will be rendered moot soon.
by Robert Fanning
Today another flag-covered box arrives
on my porch, as they do weekly, without fail,
filled with what my income tax has bought.
Lifting the box — heavy today! —
to the Fed Ex man, driving off with all
his other deliveries, one for each household
down our quiet street. Grabbing my knife
to slit the taped top, I can't
a little giddy. Foolish, I know, there's no
holiday surprise here — after all, each
of these gifts I bought. Inside my box
today: somebody's shattered watch,
the bent rim of a bike wheel, a torn page
of Baghdad's daily news, a Marine's
bloodstained glasses, half of a
leg with a striped sock and an untied blue
canvas shoe still on. Not bad.
But maybe I'm a little jaded, because
a couple days ago I heard a lady in hysterics
a few houses down, running from door to door
like she'd just won The Price is Right,
hoisting her spoils: what looked to me like
nothing more than a charred chicken breast,
which she claimed was a terrorist's ripped-out
heart. Now that's getting your
Robert Fanning, author of The Seed Thieves (Marick Press, 2006) and the forthcoming American Prophet (Marick Press, 2008). For more information, visit robertfanning.com.If you have a poem you would like us to publish and you live in these here parts, send it to email@example.com
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