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Thursday, May 03, 2007


for America’s ex-pats

By Lillian Baker Kennedy

you are – no longer
watching the evening

news, ensconced on the couch,
the foolish dog huddled up, holding
what’s left of his stuffed duck
in his mouth; no longer watching

the TBIs, acronym-short
stitches that show on the scalp
through the buzz cuts; the stars & stripes
pillows to rest their heads (what’s left
of their To Be Determined).

Here, on the mainland, to-night
our boys lolling, eyes rolling;

a mother hovering, urging
reply, “thumbs up!”– a half-mast;
shrieks on the therapy mat;
the left arm limp and twisted,
pushed back. We are wasted. God –

damned lucky – you are no longer watching.

Lillian Baker Kennedy, a 2005 Pushcart nominee, author of Tomorrow After Night (Bay River Press, 2003) and Notions (Pudding House, 2004), lives next to wild roses in Auburn, Maine.