“I Tried to Drag Back” by John McKernan

I Tried to Drag Back

That earlier me
That kid with the kite

That child
Carrying a lunch bucket
To his grandfather at work

That I
Wearing his cub scout uniform
Looking for old people
To help across the busy street

When I approached him
He adopted a karate pose
Pulled a Boy Scout knife from his pocket
And screamed   Get away from me
Right this instant     You bloody creep

 

 

 

John McKernan grew up in Omaha Nebraska and recently retired from herding commas after teaching for many years at Marshall University. He lives – mostly – in West Virginia where he edits ABZ Press. His most recent book is a selected poems Resurrection of the Dust. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, Field, and elsewhere

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