Michael Philips


The Lost Poems of Fidel Castro


From above, the desk has a home
in a row of identical desks,
an old high school yearbook rests in the middle,
and a mechanical pencil.

We would be underneath,
kneeling for bombs
but ready for games,
eyes synchronized in little caves.

We've only the faintest scars
to show for our suffering,
and ghostly scenes reflected in old windows,
to smile in sorrow or ignore for new ballads.

The iconic beard and green hat,
like something from the attic,
like the Stones or a Kennedy,
or a warning of a cold front moving in.

Submitted: Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Edited: Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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Comments about this poem (The Lost Poems of Fidel Castro by Michael Philips )

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  • Raynette Eitel (8/28/2007 10:38:00 AM)

    This little piece of history is a detailed observation of frightening days. Rather than getting caught in the emotion, you chose to focus on the details, the desks, the yearbook, the children more ready for games than the serious preparation into which they were forced. Your closing stanza, bringing in Fidel Castro, the Stones, the Kennedys brought it all together...'The Lost Poems of Fidel Castro.' Loved the title.

    Raynette (Report) Reply

  • THE LAST REMNANT OF SANITY BIDS YOU ADIEU (8/28/2007 10:34:00 AM)

    Gawd, it's good to see you here again. I've always loved your work. I too remember the 'duck and cover' exercises...thankfully our kids don't, huh? And hopefully, they never will.

    I love the way this moves, Michael...softly, urgently. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Scarlett Treat (8/28/2007 9:54:00 AM)

    How perfectly I remember being under the desk, not knowing whether to be afraid of the 'bombs' or excited about the release from the regular classwork, and how well you have brought back this memory...the things that we think we have forgotten until something (or someone!) triggers the memory for us. Welcome back. (Report) Reply

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