Summer 2001 • Vol. XXIII No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 2001 |

They Must Be Poetry

A pigeon-colored dawn, and two generals march —are marched—           between sandbags to a wooden post. Klimovsky notices the post is splintered. Soon                   they'll need a new one. His shoulder boards are ripped and then hacked off with a bayonet. His hands                 are lashed behind him. An aiming mark is pinned above his heart. Let us    deploy, they'd begged. Let us                       prepare. Our German neighbors are our allies now, Stalin said.       We can't insult our allies.     In six days,       three hundred thousand Russians died as the Wehrmacht plunged through spring,                             unslowed, toward Moscow. Gray sky turns rose. Klimovsky                     stains his pants and General Pavlov snaps his bloody head from side to side, trying        

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Andrew Hudgins teaches at Ohio State University. His most recent book is American Rendering: New and Selected Poems. In June, Simon and Schuster will publish The Joker: A Memoir and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will publish A Clown at Midnight.

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