Perimeters

Poem by David M. Katz

The merest toy that comes to mind’s
A necessary key. A horse
Named Harry made of papier-mâché;
You loved him once. You two were close
As brothers, though similes
Cannot convey how heart was bound
To heart. Bathetic? Yes, in the sense
Of boundless sentiment below
The surface of a boy too old
To weep. Sunt lacrimae rerum:
Your horse in pieces on the pavement.

 

Or that prone GI, found bleached on a beach
On Shelter Island, vestige of
A squad of khaki comrades, flesh
Toned, stripped of the factory paint
That hid him from the enemy,
His bayonet the only way
To guard against the Sound’s advances.
Lost toys maintain perimeters
Against remembering. But then
You find them, and you’re there again
With your trusty horse, your naked kin.

 

American Arts Quarterly, Summer 2014, Volume 31, Number 3