The Wounded

By Gerald McCarthy

There’s a kind of slanting late winter light
out on the edge of a field,
so when you look closely, it’s like a border
only fluid, moving.
A group of wild turkeys
feeds on the juniper and bearberries
near the entrance to what the locals call
the other Arlington
a hillside cemetery off the old King’s Highway,
and that light is coming toward them.
If you listen you can hear
the soft clucking sounds they make.
Today in the glare of the super-market light,
my son makes me look at lobsters
piled on one another in a plastic tank.
They don’t move much in there, he says.
They’re stunned, I tell him,
their claws taped up, waiting.
Outside in the late March dusk
a cold rain on stone, you think of them —
trapped in their tanks
or hospital beds.

Editor's note: This poem was initially published under our original name, The Deadly Writer's Patrol, in issue #7 (2009). It also appeared in the poet’s collection Trouble Light (West End Press/University of New Mexico Press, 2008). Reproduced here with consent of Gerald McCarthy.