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Saturday, November 10, 2007


by Laurie Kuntz

They flash the dead on the screen,
Faces shining like an autumn harvest,
Their serious smiles, framed against stars, against stripes.

The parades this week are cast
With those who returned, they step to the podium,
This bruised harvest, their gait gingered.

One’s eye sockets are melted shut,
Like the waxy remains of a holiday candle.

He hoarsely speaks of serving with pride,
But his words are slurred, as are parts of his memory.

The next boy speaks too loudly, says he has no regrets,
He accepts the injuries, a totem of honor,
his left ear blown off by grenades,

He folds and refolds the yellow lined paper,
Notes to himself on what must be said,

When his speech ends, he sees the clapping,
But cannot hear the applause,
or the few in the audience beginning to gasp.

Laurie Kuntz’s bio is as elusive as her estrogen levels. Sometimes she remembers she is a poet and sometimes not. During her five minutes in the sun Laurie has done the following: She is the winner of the 1999 Texas Review Chapbook Contest and her chapbook, Simple Gestures, is published by Texas review Press (2000). Blue Light Press published her chapbook, Women at the Onsen, in 2003. Edwin Mellen Press published her poetry collection, Somewhere in the Telling in 1999. She is the author of two English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) books, The New Arrival, BKS. 1 &2(Prentice-Hall, 1982, 1992). She was the editor of the University of Maryland's Asian Division's literary magazine, Blue Muse, and was a contributing editor to Hunger Mountain Magazine. Currently, she is a contributing editor for RockSaltPlum online literary magazine. In 2003, three of her poems were nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. More on her life and poetry can be seen on Pining for the tropics, she works and writes in Northern Japan.