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  November 2015
volume 12 number 2
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Sheikha A.
  M.I Akande
  Gwyndyn Alexander
  Prerna Bakshi
  Gary Beck
  Stefanie Bennett
  Deborah Edler Brown
  Jeffrey Bryant
  Terry Clark
  Robin Wyatt Dunn
  Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi
  Hedy Habra
  Dave Houston
  Trista Hurley-Waxali
  Robert S King
  Marie Lecrivain
  Emma Lee
  Ron Lucas
  Frank Mundo
  Scott Thomas Outlar
  Angel Uriel Perales
  James G Piatt
  Frank Praeger
  Hattie Quinn
  John D Robinson
  john saunders
  Apryl Skies
  Julia Stein
  Jonathan Taylor
  Amy Uyematsu
  J.T. Whitehead
  mailing list
Julia Stein
November 2015



photo by james barros

    Julia Stein is co-author of the upcoming non-fiction book Shooting Women: Behind the Camera, Around the World (London, 2015). She has published five books of poetry, the latest which is What Are They Like. She has edited two books of poetry: Walking Through a River of Fire: 100 Years of Triangle Fire Poetry and Every Day Is an Act of Resistance: Selected Poems of Carol Tarlen.



His Chest Full of Medals

When my brother in the rehab hospital got a fistful of
broken promises,
they shoved him out and called his placement a "success,"

when Justin LaFerrier, army physical therapist,
had Sergeant Cain wheeled out,
after he had lost half a leg to a bomb in Iraq,
Cain was put through hours of exercises
on bars and racks to build up his muscles.

and my brother daily took a new drug that attacked his body,
sat two hours a day in a wheelchair,
rode his stationary bike two hours a day,
a soldier alone, fighting to get strong.

I want to give my brother a Purple Heart
for being wounded by enemy action of
an incompetent pharmacist giving him the wrong drugs.

I want to give my brother a Combat Infantryman Badge
for surviving sixty days of combat
starting with the emergency room that never found out what was wrong,
leaving him close to death,
for battling all the nurses,
unable to give him his drugs on time,
wrecking the delicate chemical balance his body needed,
labeling him a troublemaker,
for the daily taking of a new drug that attacked him,
sticking it out, fighting every hour for his life.

I tell the social worker, See my brother,
the hero with his chest covered with medals.

copyright 2015 Julia Stein