Flamenco at the Thirsty Bear. Jim Gunshinan

About Jim Gunshinan

 • The Artificial Heart
 • Heroes
 • Geography Lessons
 • Blue Cornflowers
 • Living by Water
 • Upon This Rock
 • The Man Dad Brought
    Home from the War
 • Physics
 • Black and White
 • Not the Mom We Were
    Used To
 • Nothing Sacred
 • Spring
 • Transformation
 • Please Straighten That Up
 • Up from Depression
 • What the Body Wants
 • Compassion
 • Commute
 • Kiss Me
 • Starter Castles
 • Flamenco at the Thirsty
 • A Nature Poem
 • Portrait of a Woman from
   the Gardens of Egypt in the
   First Century




When the four of us, brothers
turned a copper pipe, a block of wood
and firecrackers into a cannon

we sent, from the backyard patio
objects into the sky with a bang and laughter.
I supplied the ammunition—

the toy soldiers, the hard rubber balls.
We never knew where they went
though one of the soldiers

had a parachute attached to his shoulders
with plastic hooks. Bang
and it was gone, over the creek

into the sky of the wider world.
On a hill outside Da Nang
central Vietnam

on the South China Sea; my brother lies
inside a ring of sandbags
behind a fifty-caliber machine gun.

At home
I am bent over my desk
writing him a letter, How are you?

I am fine. I got straight A’s.
I signed up for football. After a year
we picked him up at the airport.

You know how in the movies
the Green Beret will fall
on the hand grenade

to save his buddies?
It only slows down the shrapnel
a little bit, he told me.

  © Jim Gunshinan, 2013


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