Go back

                                                                                                S. Thomas Summers


Surgeon and Saw

The silk of rose
petals. The flame

of a cardinal’s wing
against a silver birch.

Apple skin tight
against fleshy

fruit, muddled
only by layers

of caramel. I
once thought

red was such
a lovely color.




We pile arms and legs
like Willy and me piled wood
near ma’s tomatoes.
Blood seeps from `em like sap.

Hardest to stomach are the toes.
General Longstreet ordered me
to pull off boots and shoes
before I buried the lot.

Toes stick out here and there,
pointing ways they shouldn’t.
Made me think of rows
of slaughtered hogs.

Funny thing is they still reek
like fusty feet - like Pop
just kicked off his shoes
and is sittin’ here with me.



Then He Died

For Private Hercules McGee, 14th New Jersey Infantry

The bullet the doc
pinches from my belly
tinks against

the frying pan where others
cluster like the horde
of bullfrog eggs we found

in the marsh a few days
before Abe gave
me the blue coat.



                                                                                                © S. Thomas Summers

triple rule

Loch Raven Review Winter 2005 — Vol. I, No. 2
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