As Kids Back Home – Mark Madigan

—for Greg Pape

The papers were filled
with stories of war,
villages burning,

bodies being counted,
or sapper teams slipping
in through the fences.

But we were too young
for adult keeping-up
and didn’t read papers,

except for the comics
or to check box scores.
Still, we couldn’t help

but watch the parade
of long black coffins
filled once again

with our classmates fathers
as they were, slowly,
escorted from churches

and we saw our friends
grow ever more sullen,
or else too wild

in the pranks they played,
as if they felt
a need to convince us

everything was fine,
there was nothing at all
to be worried about.

Mark MadiganMark Madigan is the author of a chapbook, Thump and other poems, published by Finishing Line Press in 2019.