The father was an Army Private

who rarely came home.

The mother

was the life of a party

somewhere else.

Two children under five

were abandoned

twenty hours at a time.

The little girl would call me, crying,

saying she was afraid, hungry.

I read books to her,

told her to be brave.

This happened every day

until, burning,

I called Captain Somebody,

the father's boss.

 

But he wouldn't touch it.

This was the Army.

Didn't I know that?

His job was preventing war.

Kids without parents...

what did that have to do with war?

 

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About Belinda Subraman


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Belinda Subraman has been writing poetry since the 6th grade and publishing since college. She had a ten year run editing and publishing Gypsy Literary Magazine. Six of those ten years was from Germany where she was a Bohemian outcast among officer wives. She edited books by Vergin' Press, among them: Henry Miller...read more and My Big Sur Days by Judson Crews. While in Germany she also published Sanctuary Tape Series which was a mastered compilation of audio poetry and original music from around the world. If you interview her about her publishing days you will discover that she threw out a whole Charles Bukowski manuscript because he told her to just trash what she didn't like. THEN she found out he was Famous. She might have kept the manuscript but still would not have published it. (It wasn't his best work). Bukowski, Burroughs and a few other literary figures did make it into some of the first Gypsy issues, however.
7 comments
Discussion
  1 week ago
Good question.
  24 months ago · in response to Dan Jacoby

    Thank you, Dan.
  24 months ago · in response to Leopold McGinnis

    Thank you, Leopold.
  24 months ago · in response to Donna Snyder

    Thank you, Donna.
  24 months ago
one day in formation they asked if anyone could type...those guys spent whole day unloading typewriters....death of ball turret gunner comes to mind ...nicely done
  24 months ago
Wow. This is great. Like a hand grenade tossed into the willful blindness and cyclical relationships of family and war. Tackles both the small and immediate and large and distant at the same time. Great work!
  24 months ago - edited
Belinda!!!

The poem outrages, as it should. The details are poignant and precise, making the poem transcend its specific circumstances, but of course you know this.

I had no idea, or forgot, that the magazine you published me in had previously included B and B. I'm retroactively flattered! (But...read more I was pleased you published me even not knowing.)

Welcome to Red Fez.

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