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Thursday, May 31, 2007


by Michael Graves

It is not dream that troubles you, the self assured.
At night, you do not stand
After difficult descent
Among accusing shades
Of soldiers sent to sacrifice
Who murmur of incompetence,
Hungry for the world they left.
Neither the blinded, crippled, blasted dead,
Nor the legless, armless wounded rise from beds
To surround you in your sleep.
They do not speak within the words you speak:

You move and talk and look
As though you were an empty glove
Upon the hand of a puppeteer.

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.