While my wife was massaging my sore
right arm in bed I suddenly

saw the Civil War soldiers in the
hospital Whitman used to visit

and how they didn’t know who he
was or who he would be or

that he’d written Leaves of Grass

but only that he wrote letters home for them
and wiped their brows with cold cloths or

leaned close to them to hear their
whispered words and leaned close with his

sky blue eyes and pink face to
kiss their beards

and gaze long at them and
hold their hands while they


8/3/2008 (from Sparks Off the Main Strike)

Categories: Poems