Stevieslaw: Vietnam, 1968

When my brother held
me upside down
all the little lucky things
came pebbling out of my pockets
to land on the walk
outside the marble yard
on Hopkins Avenue.
I knew I’d never
get them together again.

it was not a sign
of his affection
that had me dangling,
shirt smothered, from my heels
in the Brooklyn sun.
It was a business proposition.
I was seven that summer.
He, a spry fourteen,
loved showing off for girls.
He’d ply me with action comics,
Batman and Robin,
Spiderman, and Green Lantern.
I didn’t mind being dangled.

Things are simple at seven.
I found my two-headed buffalo nickel,
my bolts and wingnuts and the key to someone’s lock.
My rabbit’s foot had spun onto the straggly grass
at the edge of the street.
Fortunately, someone had thought to dye it yellow.
It struck me then that my brother should have it.
But, he had gone.

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This entry was posted in gang gang dance, poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Stevieslaw: Vietnam, 1968

  1. Just about my favorite, Steve. That is, until you write the next one…

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