Friday, March 11, 2011

"Eight"

Eight
            Look at the word
                        How do you say this word anyway?
                                    Look at the number—
                                                8
                                           8
A Mobius strip
            Unending
Two circles stacked
            One
            on
            top
            of
            the
            other
A number of depth
            Purple rooms
            Playing poker
                        Growing
                                    lectures
                                    radishes
                                    corn
                                    up
“Mom, why can’t Paula take me swimming?”
            Life
                        in full color
                                    first fetal photos
                                                explained in one afternoon
Eight
            With Uncle Red
                        and root beer
            And collections
                        of dogs
                        of teapots
                        of memories
Layers of happiness
            enfolded in blood
Dad’s cheerful letters
            from a distant war
                        News flashes
                                    Bombs
                                                Destruction
            Charlie’s lip
                        torn away
a bloody hand print on my thigh
                                                8
                        unending
                        Wrapping back onto itself
                                    joy and fear entwined

Copyright 1994 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

This piece reflects my memory of the images of the year my father spent in Vietnam, from my eight-year-old point of view.

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