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Bruce Guernsey's Poetry

IMAGES OF WAR

Looking out the front window of my house
this spring morning, the soft rain greening
the new grass of late March
as civil wars rage daily on the TV screen,

 

I think of the greenhouses built from glass
once etched with the images of war:
barefoot men in muddy trenches dug
to hold back Grant at Petersburg,

 

the smoky negatives of their swollen bodies
sold by photographers gone broke
at the end of the war, glass plates
pieced together like cathedral windows

 

to heat the flats of roses underneath,
to green the new shoots, sunlight
thin at first, eclipsed by the dark of shoeless feet,
by the winter haze of empty hands

 

shading for a time the plants beneath,
then slowly like mist, like a rain cloud lifting,
slowly vanishing—an eye, the nose, his face—
the glass pure sky, a summer’s day.