this morning in a mulberry bush by Bill Jansen

this morning in a mulberry bush

the war is over
the dead are alive
in the movies
in the supermarket checkout line
in the quiet crossing streets at night
in the DNA of children sterilized by lies
in climate change bamboo
growing over Atfalati graves
in saddle bags on a Camel cigarette
I ride down the canyons of a rose
in the green fuse of a souvenir coconut
in my father’s dusty South Pacific attic
his pajama’d oblivious body zipped into a bag
in the flatter and spatter of the news
in the residue of cocaine
on a Jiffy Lube coupon the cop drops
onto my yard sale sofa
because I am too tired from laughing
at the Love Boat to notice
I just want to bug out
but I keep moving forward
following a formation of dream Panzers
attacking a younger, stronger dream.

by Bill Jansen

Editor’s Note: The first line of this poem is in opposition to the title (and its suggestion of the nursery rhyme, where movement is repeated again and again). This sets up the contradiction of images that appear in the rest of the poem, even at the end when one would think a tank (dreamlike or not) would crush everything with finality. Such is war and its trauma.


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