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The Letters.

THE LETTERS

 O Father, the letters
 that you sent to Mama
 have faded like the moon.
 Did you tell her about
 the casing that sent shrapnel
 scattering like sand?
 Did you mention the planes
 that dropped bomb after bomb
 as if they were meteorites
 and left craters
 and blew off limbs
 from fierce flanking marines?
 Did you keep writing
 for hot hurdled hours
 constantly riddled with
 machine guns? Did you tell
 about rolls calls, mail calls,
 phone calls assessing
 POWs, MIAs, and AWOLs?
 I know those old letters
 are keeping history
 on their pages like assembly lines
 create the weapons
 where words winnow and sing,
 and whet Mama's piety.


Lenard D. Moore, founder and executive director of the Carolina African American Writers' Collective, has poems recently out or forthcoming in The Midwest Quarterly, Brooklyn Review, Sauti Mpya, and American Tanka, as well as the anthology Step Into A World: A Global Anthology of the New Black Literature (Wiley, 2000). He teaches English and world literature in the CAPE Department at Shaw University.
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Author:Moore, Lenard D.
Publication:African American Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Dec 22, 2003
Words:172
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