Poetry May 2011

Passed On

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Head of the motor pool in World War II on Saipan
Tumbled out of his jeep one night on Saipan
Head injury requiring a plate on Saipan
Story told to his wife in a letter from Saipan

Story believed when he came home from Saipan
Night of stars and a drunken ride on Saipan
Anonymous lover tumbling with him on Saipan
There was no such person with him on Saipan

Devoted father escaped from family to Saipan
Never a shred about the woman on Saipan
Plate in his head and heart put in on Saipan
Long dead old man a young man then on Saipan

Mark Jarman’s latest collection is Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems (2011). He teaches at Vanderbilt University.
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