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Poetry Magnum Opus

Chapultepec, 1847


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My head is swimming

and my leg aches like hell

but they won’t cut it off,

not now, why should they?


I think of my mother,

of my dear gentle father,

of my brothers and sisters,

and I think of Christ


in a dim illogical way,

as a young boy in the Temple,

at that wedding in Cana,

waiting in Gethsemane.


My eyes involuntarily rise,

see drifting clouds in the deep blue sky,

lower to the walls of the great city,

then focus on the shame before us.


This is no shame of ours, but theirs,

a naked measure of black revenge,

and I am glad we fought them so well,

and only sorry we could not win.


The noose cuts roughly in my throat

and Peadar beside me says something in Irish,

Erin Abú or Remember Limerick,

or some other bloody silly thing,


and I nod and smile, say nothing,

as we did not fight for Ireland or Mexico,

we fought for ourselves.

I try to think of a childhood prayer.


The Mexican flag descends from the Citadel,

and the American flag ascends. A roll of drums.

We stand and wait, puppets in a vile melodrama.

Slán leat, Pheadar, I murmur. Farewell.



Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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David W. Parsley

Moving and real, Brendan.


- Dave

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