To Barbara Tuchman

by Lucy Wollin

Despite you, we are
Refugees from history,
And out there in the stars
Spacemen adjust a bolt
And come back, wanting to
Ignore the news.

The Khmer Rouge threw doctors headless into pits
We do not hear the cries from the boneyards
Blind as a veteran’s thousand-meter stare
John Wayne is marching into El Salvador
Children are dragged from their parents screaming

We belly our ambushes into jungles
Men and women hide behind the giant ferns
Lobbing curses
Yankee so’jer you die tonight
And take our guns from us
And hang our ears from their belts
And paint their faces green

And so’jer you die
Despite fields of fire
Agent orange
Rumors of war
We are lost
And they are lost, too.

Lucy Wollin has been writing poetry on and off since she was able to write. Attending the Bread Loaf English School and Writers’ Conference helped her to focus and taking Sarah White’s IRP classes was a source of ideas as well.