Things Harry Said

Two blocks away,

lived good old Harry

who found shelter

in his memories of war

in a swinging chair

on his porch, day in, day out.


Passing by his house

going to school in Iowa City, 1969

I saw Harry everyday

watching all corners on guard

to scare away the hunters of life.

Harry always said something

He lamented his life

with one seeing eye, the color

of lemon juice.

“I stole rice and smoked fish

from the dead men’s back packs

but I said a prayer,

I killed many unfamiliar faces

I said prayers for them, too.

but I  always heard someone 

crying behind the moon.


His wife was content

with Harry’s disability benefits,

cooked him rice and smoked fish

as his mood ran as wild as a river.


Harry’s sorrows were refugees

between the lines of his tear-stained face;

He’d show passers-by a medal of honor

on his vest, flickering like a firefly, at dusk.

Pointing to the trees, with one-armed might, he’d say:

“The ghosts of the past are calling from every rustling leaf.”

“Harry is no more. Something took him last night,” said his wife 

Copyright © Fereshteh Sholevar 2014