Carolyn Forché
Detroit, Michigan
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The Colonel

Rating: 3.2
What you have heard is true. I was in his house.
His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His
daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the
night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol
on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on
its black cord over the house. On the television
was a cop show. It was in English. Broken bottles
were embedded in the walls around the house to
scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his
hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings
like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of
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COMMENTS
S E Ingraham 15 January 2020
I have read this many times and each time it's as if it's the first. Such stark horror told in an everyday way - they're having supper, the Colonel is very matter-of-fact in his complaints and the way he has dinner served before the ears arrive. He is trying to make a point and he does - what a tour de force Forche has managed with this poem. Brilliant in my view. It stays in my mind for days and my heart forever.
0 0 Reply
Susan Williams 02 September 2016
Not my cup of tea... thankfully not my glass of water either
5 0 Reply
Bharati Nayak 02 September 2016
The story may be true, but on the Poem of the Day Page it fills the heart with horror and gloom.
1 0 Reply
Edward Kofi Louis 02 September 2016
He spilled many human ears on the table! This is serious! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
1 0 Reply
* Sunprincess * 04 June 2014
.............a very good start for a short story....now we just need to find out why the main characters are there having dinner with a bad guy.....and why hasn't the police locked this man up.... and thrown away the key....
4 2 Reply
Cat Hodgson 14 April 2014
harsh but maybe true in land of other
4 1 Reply
Michelle Claus 13 April 2014
I felt compelled to read this in is entirety. It wouldn't release me. It's an odd work... haunting. I still have questions. This poem's relentless subject-verb sentences work somehow. I'm not sure how I feel....
3 1 Reply
Liliana ~el 13 April 2014
So intense. Really deep and evoking. Putting out the story with simple, full description. Sticks
3 1 Reply
Eugene Levich 13 April 2014
Wow! If poetry is supposed to affect one's emotions- then this poem certainly hits the mark dead on. Brava!
4 2 Reply
Richard Blay 13 April 2014
this is sure a poem, realism for that matter. good poem. makes sense to me
2 1 Reply

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