Summer 1988 • Vol. X No. 3 Poetry |

For Don, Who Slept through the War

When I was a boy, waking my uncle Was dangerous, his fists flew out In every direction, like a stunt man Falling over a balcony. No angleWas safe. Best to stand at a distance, In the door best of all, and call with mock Authority, wait, then call again, until, Arms pumping, he rose from his elected Hibernation, groggy as spring's Obligatory bear.         Now dead For thirteen years. And I have turned The age he was when I first woke him up, Laughing at his startled arms, doughy eyes. And waking up I have socked three things In so many days, the bedside table, The wall, my headboard.            I grieved for him, Killed in his tent, heavily asleep In a war so casual nobody stood In the door to call with even mock Authority when the mortar fire Walked through his camp.            But all domains Reverse themselves; only one click leftOn the mortar sight, he would have lived; Just as now at home I too am stunned When waking be

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Wyatt Prunty’s latest poetry collection is Couldn’t Prove, Had to Promise. He lives in Sewanee, where he is the Ogden D. Carlton Professor in Sewanee’s English Department. He directs the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Tennessee Fellowship Series. He edits the Johns Hopkins Poetry and Fiction Series.

Read More

Reading the Map

By Wyatt Prunty

When I was a boy, waking my uncle Was dangerous, his fists flew out In every direction, like a stunt man Falling over a balcony. No angleWas safe. Best to […]

Two Views

By Wyatt Prunty

When I was a boy, waking my uncle Was dangerous, his fists flew out In every direction, like a stunt man Falling over a balcony. No angleWas safe. Best to […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.