Artwork by Tommy Nickerson

Cate Harkins is an English senior and Mustang Daily poetry contributor.

From the darkness you come strange
In memories that don’t belong to me and I don’t keep.
Born wild-eyed and late, as the first are,
Swaddled in a German flag and taught to speak
In machine gun tongues and walk in the step of black boots
By some ghost dredged up from before.
Although your mother held you in thin, white arms,
And your father took your hand in communion photos,
The war in your breast held — waiting, watching —
And here is the chair where your mother sat the day you held
A trembling palm to round belly, where the lotus bloomed premature
In earth turned too soon —
Here is the infant girl, left in passenger seats wide-eyed
While you sought lightning from strangers’ pockets
And crawled flesh to asphalt in the alleys of yesterday
Always fixing an eye on the last —
I remember you as a point, a vision,
A wavering light that shines darkly to me even now.

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