Rae Rose

Sometimes A Man Comes Back From War

like shadow –
himself, but different.
Some kind of science fiction,
Invasion of The Body Snatchers.

Same body, sometimes.
Same eyes – used up,
inkwells that can't be refilled.

His fingers know how to touch wire
and explode, or –
sometimes he comes back,

war stuck to his shoes,
he drags it inside,
right over the welcome mat.

Sometimes his family
huddles like sheep.
Eyes shut so tight

it aches.
We bought him a war,
he sometimes comes back

all shadow,
footsteps like gunfire
up the hall, down the hall.

Rose's poetry and fiction have been published in literary magazines,
including The Pedestal Magazine, Cicada, The San Diego Poetry Annual,
Earth's Daughters and THEMA. Her poetry about race and gender has been
used as a resource within the Portland State University sociology

(author retains copyright)