METAL POPPIES (DATE AT THE WORLD WAR I MUSEUM)
by CASIE DODD

As soon as land lies fallow, these hands crack.

They bleed along the crevices that wind

Can always creep its way into, like back

When winter dates could cross state lines. They’ve thinned

 

Most at the knuckles, blooming bright as poppies

Left now for little more than a museum:

Not much unlike those bristling metal copies

Displayed in Kansas City where you see them

 

Now standing for those countless broken men.

Sometimes it’s hard to fathom how such places

Memorialize the lives that might have been—

Another loss of love whose feeble traces

 

Once left themselves to blister at the seams.

That lover’s long gone now, but what I try

To recall from that day, now lost in dreams,

Is how he stroked these hands, then kissed them dry.

AUTHOR BIO:

Casie Dodd lives in Arkansas with her husband and two children. Her writing has appeared in Fare Forward, Ekstasis, Front Porch Republic, and other journals. She is currently in the MFA program at the University of St. Thomas (Houston).