Four poems by Donald Krieger

Just Another Sinner

If I am a liar, a lecher, a pervert,
hateful, graceless, for sale,
and a vicious coward,

how could you not despise me,
you who know so much
but do not know the Lord.

If I am all these
that we live His Word,
name love Abomination,
save life at all cost,
the dying and the unborn,
even the unmale,

am I not just a sinner
doing His holy work.

 

White Out Three Times

After the wedding I puked,
then slept in the bushes. At first light
I drove east, no good bye, the sun
bright as a bomb. By eight

it was snowing. By ten
I was alone running sixty
in the left lane, the others
behind slow trucks or on the shoulder.

This weekend a white boy
drove into the crowd
and killed somebody. Other boys
with credit cards, K-Mart torches,
mommy’s clean muscle shirts, chanted,

You … won’t … erase … us.

 

 

Halls Bayou on CNN, Close-Captioned

Out Front with Erin Burnett is on TV at the gym,
Ric Saldivar tells how it happened.
His brother, Sammy, turned off toward the bridge.
The water was half up the guard rail. He hesitated,

then drove slowly across. On the other side
the road dipped and the van floated,
Sammy went out the side window,
left his parents and four grand children screaming.

He told Ric, They went to heaven holding hands.

Your cheeks flushed, Erin, when he said,
flood water covered the bridge. You hid your face
when he said, left them screaming.

They’re still finding bodies in the Freetown mud slide,
more than a thousand, and this year’s monsoon,
twelve hundred dead, millions homeless. Erin, why
do I care nothing for them?

 

Precious Payload

Jack was a rocket scientist. He often traveled to the Wallops Island test range with a payload we built, a mass spectrometer or a Langmuir probe. Sometimes they mated it to the rocket with duct tape, the stuff you can get at any hardware store. Then they waited for good weather, fired it into the sky and gone.

He often talked of his kids, how they came faster and faster, the last one, forty minutes start to finish. That’s when he got the vasectomy.

He spoke too of his friend’s daughter, arrested for speeding on Huron River Drive. It’s so wrong, his friend said, I got her a lawyer. As he told the story, Jack was shaking his head and laughing, They’re our children and we love them, but they could do anything.

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