Martin Willitts Jr
I am a retired Librarian. I was a field medic in Vietnam, and I am a former jazz musician (mandolin). I am already planning my next garden. New collections include Dylan Thomas and the Writing Shed (FutureCycle Press, 2017) and the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor's Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World (Flowstone Press, 2016).
All constellations, no matter
how distant, are beautiful excuses
to forget our way home. Every
unanswered wish is a test
of desperation, teaching reality
does not bend the way we want.
Sometimes, what we learn failure dims
expectations. I’ve forgotten your eyes
since you closed memory’s door.
Now I am seeking what I cannot find.
I have been translating stars, pulse
When a star goes supernova,
it also implodes into nothingness
like when my son left home.
It Is Sub-Zero without You
You never asked me if I would miss you. I do.
I find the curve of your absence everywhere
like an unused envelope. You left
before I realized you were never coming back.
So, ask me some day, do I miss you?
I feel no joy. Even loss has been taken away. Then
mild curiosity melts slowly: are you still alive?
Call me, my number is unchanged in case you do.
You could be one of those cardinals returning
in this bitter season. It is sub-zero here. Where
are you? There is so much of you I remember,
and more of you I keep forgetting.
My memory is like snow drifting across roads,
obliterating with disappearances. I forgot what
I wanted to tell you. It seemed important at the time.
Searching for Weapons
The Vietnamese women would carry wooden baskets of rice
or simply work in the barracks cleaning.
The sentries would investigate the women for weapons.
Sometimes all the sentries would find was rice or G.I. laundry.
The women would enter the base and work, passing inspection.
It never occurred to the sentries, there are different kinds of weapons.
The soldiers would openly talk about military plans,
troop movements, new incoming or outgoing numbers,
and the women would mop, or scrub the floors,
or cook, or fold the laundry. Not once did men suspect
there are different kinds of weapons.
The most dangerous weapons in the world are sight, sound,
concentrated listening, looking harmless, and memory.
©2017 Martin Willitts Jr
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -FF