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Tuesday, March 17, 2009


by David Plumb

Mid morning and the news reads
Sarandrea, Jessica Y., 22, Pfc, Army; Miami
First Cavalry Division. Killed in Iraq.
Somewhere in a nearby yard, a blue jay
yaks and yaks the morning quiet
way beyond the clicking news of smiles
signatures and banks washing profits off casket walls.

Marjorie Pollock is text messaging
by the organic oranges at Whole Foods.
Neal Ballenger holds a two pound
ground buffalo package in his left hand
a cell phone in his right.
The newlyweds contemplate organic cane
sugar as second ingredients in yogurt.
Daniel B. Hyde, 24 First Lieutenant army,
Modesto California is dead in Iraq.

Beyond the three dollar collard greens
traffic zips and tears the afternoon.
No need to signal or cut off the competition.
It’s only three lanes and four hundred yards
to the gas station and a cheap hoagie.
A homeless man passes out a newspaper
at the traffic island. Put a little in the pot
please, and God Bless you Jeffrey Reed 23
Army Sergeant, Chesterfield, Virginia dead in Iraq.

Late afternoon stuffs the mind, wipes
pleasure off a job that may or may not
exist in a few days, or tomorrow.
Lorna Guzman, social worker for Women
in Distress hopes Day Care is taking care
Keisha wants to tell the M.D.
with 40 patients a day that
she missed another period.
She has to get home.
She has a class tonight.
Patrick DeVoe, he’s dead in Afghanistan
Twenty-seven, Private First Class
from Auburn, New York.
You know where that is, but then

It’s almost dinner time and Shirley
brings in take out hot and sour, low mein
a side of barbecued wings.
Did you hear Tiger’s back?
TVs blink the news, the news, the news.
Who did what and who said if?
She’s a democrat underneath.
How about that short horse in England?
They think it’s stuck in mud.
You know Rush and the other one
who took all the rich guy’s cash.
He’s going to plead, but Leno
will have his say later on.

By the way, it is a full moon.
Look out the window at the perfect sky.
George Clooney may show up
on ER, don’t forget and don’t
forget the names whispered in the stars.
Jessica, Daniel, Jeffrey, Patrick
echo in blood, in guns, in storms
They’re coming home.

David Plumb’s latest fiction book is A Slight Change in the Weather. He has worked as a paramedic, a cab driver, a, cook and tour guide. A long time San Francisco writer, he now lives in South Florida . Will Rogers said, “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” Plumb says, “It depends on the parrot.”