December 19, 2016

Quincy R. Lehr

WAR SONG

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.
—Psalm 144:1

Sing for the hireling monograph,
the so-called greater good.
Sing for the hungry prisoner
raped with his own food.

Sing for the guards with mobile phones,
the naked men in piles.
Sing for the thumbs-up at the front,
the way the woman smiles.

Sing for the corpses on the bridge,
the shells in the city square.
Sing for the places undisclosed
but nonetheless on-air.

Sing for the drawling mullet man,
his sometimes-strummed guitar.
Sing for the next commercial break.
Meanwhile, another star

burns out, but very far away.
Its light, as yet shines on.
Sing for the watchers on the ground
waiting for the dawn.

September 11, 2015

from Rattle #53, Fall 2016

[download audio]

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Quincy R. Lehr: “I write poetry because I lack a sense of proportion.” (link)