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Nathan Parker

This is an

adorable poem. Inviting as it were.

We will mention nothing of war, for

we have never fought. We sucked

peppermint by the tree during the war.

Of this, these things, we shall write.


We will mention nothing of fear or neglect,

father's beard was always warm

enough to protect us,

always bushy enough for all of us.


We will not mention misery.

When mother tucked us in at 8 instead of 9

after feeding us broccoli instead of pizza,

she told us after a kiss, "In colder places,

it is worse."


We believed her.


We will not mention addiction. Our delirium came

from waiting for grandma's sweet-pie that she stuffed

with apples—they were so warm inside her soft crust

but if it wasn't Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Sunday

afternoon, we didn't give them a second thought,

and for that reason, we are not mentioning addiction.


We have enough peppermint, pine, beard, broccoli,

mothers' lips and sweet-pie to last for a long, long

time. And it is for this reason that we are keeping

our mouths shut.

Nathan Parker's recent poems appear or are forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Colorado Review, Quarterly West, and Double Room. He lives in Alabama with his wife, Christie, and 6 month-old son, Noah. This past spring he completed his MFA in poetry at the University of Alabama.

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