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Sunday, May 06, 2007


by Michael Graves

Now, the tongue of the father-avenging son,
Stumbling in sleep,
In mocking mispronunciation,
Like a heckler from hell,
Like a student unprepared
At the most important exam
In a classroom of competitors
Silently scribbling,
Or respected professional
Standing unaccountably naked
In his bright office,
Attempts to say Osirak,
Desert reactor in flames,
But utters Osiris, O sires, O rises,
O sires, O rises, O sires,
And stumbles, and stumbles, and stumbles . . .

Michael Graves is a widely published poet and has a full-length collection Adam and Cain (Black Buzzard, 2006) nominated for a PEN Osterweil Award. Graves was the recipient of a substantial grant from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation in 2004.