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        They were alive
        and playing cards
        in an eight foot trench
        that was covered like
        Eve and I had point
        alone on our Italian beach.
        The Germans had artillery
        so reaching that grunts robbed
        of rest – all of them-
        might disappear unclaimed
        for weeks. I caught a private
        and brought him back at dawn.
        The captain said, take him there
        behind those trees and hurry back.
        To kill like that. I marched
        behind the bastard and he knew
        and wept. I was seeing things
        from lack of sleep. I saw my father standing
        on the platform by my returning train,
        the haunted question of him; I saw
        stars on collars finally unpinned
        and the manual of arms above our
        barn filled with grain. The German
        knelt and light specked him unfed
        and leather hooved. There were leaves
        and I was dappled too.

                        —Charles Bane Jr.

@riseupreview 2017    

Charles Bane, Jr. is the American author of three collections of poetry including the recent The Ends Of The Earth: Collected Poems ( Transcendent Zero Press, 2015 ) and The Ascent Of Feminist Poetry, as well as I Meet Geronimo And Other Stories ( Avignon Press, 2015) and Three Seasons: Writing Donald Hall ( Collection of the Houghton Library, Harvard University). He created and contributes to The Meaning Of Poetry Series for The Gutenberg Project. http://charlesbanejr.co