A SKULL SESSION
by John Lambremont
The dog tags told me what it was
before it touched my hand,
taken from a folded plastic bag,
a chunk of a jet pilot's skull plate,
a curved human coconut shell,
once-black hair a green patina
that crumbled at the touch.
He'd brought them back from a trip back home,
taken from wreckage hidden deep
in a Quang Tri mountain ravine
undiscovered for years after the war,
hidden for a decade,
until his return.
He asked me what he could do with them,
perhaps a grateful America would bring across
his brother and nephew and niece,
or maybe there was a cash reward,
but he knew if the feds in Ha Noi
or their goons in Sai Gon found out about
what his family had kept in secret,
they'd face prison or death or worse.
Turning the skull-piece over in my hand,
my thoughts went out to the M.I.A.'s family,
their not knowing his fate
during the intervening score,
but my duty was to my client, so I
keep his decision buried deep
in this aging skull of mine.
THE CARETAKER (an acrostic)
Brother B. does right by his sad saffron ladies,
Under his spell, they give him all that they've made;
Muzzling his love into each golden ear,
Bread money gathered from their musky labor,
Lip service gives he to their wan complaints.
Each encounter ends with a whispered threat, as his
Blazer's sulfur sash boldly signifies his tribe; and
Even though he has another bouquet across town,
Early in the evening, once again, he'll make his rounds.
Bio: John Lambremont, Sr. is a poet living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife, their fat gray tabby cat, and their Jack Russell terrier runt. His poems have appeared in over twenty literary reviews and journals, including Red River Review, A Hudson View (2009 Pushcart Prize nomination), Boston Literary Magazine, Taj Mahal Review, and Lilliput Review."