Walt McDonald

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Best Poem of Walt McDonald

My Father On His Shield

Shiny as wax, the cracked veneer Scotch-taped
and brittle.I can't bring my father back.
Legs crossed, he sits there brash

with a private's stripe, a world away
from the war they would ship him to
within days.Cannons flank his face

and banners above him like the flag
my mother kept on the mantel, folded tight,
white stars sharp-pointed on a field of blue.

I remember his fists, the iron he pounded,
five-pound hammer ringing steel,
the frame he made for a sled that winter

before the war.I remember the rope in his fist
around my ...

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