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Monday, May 11, 2009


by Mary Turzillo

March 23rd, late enough to be the 24th,
a mile away, I heard the boom,
called the cops to find out what happened.
It was the Thinker
in front of Cleveland Art Museum,
blown all to hell,
legs blasted.
Who set the dynamite?
Weathermen? or wacko kids?
Bronze doesn’t talk.

May 4, same year, I was forty miles away,
grading my Kent student’s themes.
It took only 13 seconds.
But it took a lifetime, too:
people maimed and dead, bullets through car windows,
through a young living girl,
bullets punching,
neat as the hole in binder paper,
a Don Drumm sculpture.
Who did it? Bullets tell tales
and it was ruled, months later,
a righteous shooting.
The mute witness, that tall steel Drumm,
isn’t talking, makes no judgments.
Steel doesn’t talk.

The dead are silent, too,
and in my coward’s way,
I’m a witness.
I wasn’t on campus.
I only recoiled.
As to the sculptures,
Rodin, and Drumm,
a thinking man, an abstract tower.
Bronze doesn’t breathe
And steel is mute.

It was the spring
of another American revolution;
alumni bear scars nobody sees.
We look daily on the remnants,
because we can see, we breath, we mourn.
And the sculptures are a record.
Bronze weeps verdigris,
And steel bleeds rust.

Mary Turzillo is a Kent State University Emeritus Professor. She won a 1999 Nebula for her novelette, "Mars Is no Place for Children."