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Tuesday, March 21, 2006


by Suellen Wedmore

Yesterday rhododendrons bled across the lawn,
but today my son calls to say he’s home
from that war half a world away
and the sky rings blue again.

Today my son calls to say he’s home:
in a voice still young he tells a joke
and the sky hymns blue again.
He sends a photo in uniform,

a face still young behind a beard
eyes squinting against the sun’s blare--.
what did I ever know of camouflage,
shamals and rifles, the subtle nudge

of terror? Of the sun as assassin?
Iraq was only a splotch in a geography book,
without suicide bombers and sandstorms,
a page I could ignore,

Baghdad an enigmatic name in a book.
Yesterday rhododendrons bled across the lawn,
but today the grass is a dazzled green:
my son is home from war.

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.