“a footnote in the abstract/strategies of war”


(poetry diary 165) at home again healing from bronchitis & trying to not get overly-wrapped up in the news. Found this good poem called “Bronchitis” by David Bottoms. It moves from a scene about his young daughter struggling with bronchitis to a scene from a history of war and to a postcard from a friend in Washington D.C. The poem captures something of the experience of living ordinary lives w/semi-ordinary struggles while thinking of other people who have been through or are going through other, much larger struggles.  “Whose story then?” Bottoms writes. “Whose history shadowed/or foreshadowed, if not mine?/Or yours?”


David Bottoms


Rough sleep from the room across the hall.

Mouth open, my daughter breathes the little noise of wheels

on dry axles. I’ve cut the ceiling fan

to hear her, but rain intrudes against the house,

along with something quieter

and more disquieting,

some muffled trudge

like soldiers crossing our soggy yard

ghosting cannons east again toward Kennesaw.

Read rest of poem.  (Note: this poem is three pages long, and navigation on the webpage isn’t intuitive. To get to the 2nd and 3rd pages, scroll back to the top of the poem and click “Next Page.”)

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