by Charles Weld
about his words at the Columbus,
Kiwanis, I counted
killers I’ve known, having to guess
at a few, a list
longer than expected. A machine gun nest
blown up by a
friend’s dad’s grenade. An ex-U.S.
school teacher who would digress
from his lesson to
describe the pieces of human flesh
floating in the South Pacific. And, yes—
an uncle, good
friend, colleague, clients who’d confess,
understanding. Closer, I pay my taxes
funding the next rampage. Like S.S.,
we lined up women
and children and shot them into ditches
at My Lai. Maybe
he spoke a word for each, maybe less—
a word for every
three or four dead people, the address
to those who afterward spoke to the press.
Weld’s poems have been collected in two chapbooks, Country I Would
Settle In (Pudding House, 2004), and Who Cooks For You?
(Kattywompus, 2012.), and in many small magazines such as Southern
Poetry Review, Evansville Review, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily,
The Concord Saunterer, Friends Journal, Blue Unicorn,
Canary, etc. A collection, Seringo, will be published
later this year by White Violet Press (Kelsay Books.) He’s worked as an
administrator for a nonprofit agency that provides treatment for youth
experiencing mental health challenges, and lives in the Finger Lakes region of
upstate New York.