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Monday, January 16, 2006


by Suellen Wedmore

I count my age in summers, celebrate
sun’s return with dance, gooseberries,
and ripening plums. This winter a crisis:

my son ordered to the desert
to fight a war I don’t believe in
and all I have is his disembodied voice

on my answering machine.
My dream is that quahog shells
deflect bullets. I dream that

because I never taught my child
to tie his shoes,
he could not be deployed.

I dream Sadam Hussein is 5 years old,
in a kindergarten with geraniums
and a teacher who cares.

Unroll me like a fiddlehead;
blister me with July’s benign fire;
end this war so my son can wrestle

with his Weimaraner
in his own back yard,
so the children of Iraq can be free

to despise us,
to despise school,
to despise a Yankee landscape

with the innocence of snow.

Suellen Wedmore, Poet Laureate emeritus for the small seaside town of Rockport, Massachusetts, has been published in Green Mountains Review, College English, Phoebe, Larcom Review, The Cancer Poetry Project, and others. Her work has been awarded first and second place in the 2000 and 2004 Writer’s Digest rhyming poem contests, respectively; first place in the Byline Magazine Literary Contest; and first place in the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum annual writing competition. After 24 years working as a speech and language therapist, she retired to enter the MFA Program in Poetry at New England College and graduated in July, 2004.