Near the End of Our Long War
By Don Welch
How long do we have to stay hunched
in this horse?
In their houses the Trojans dip bread
into the juices of lambs.
Helens let their breasts fall like springs
on starved lands.
There are good explosions of children.
In here the cold is a spear. The plaque of the frost
is no shield of Achilles.
Only our aches are embossed.
Remember the bright eyes of our cleverness?
All’s cataracted, smeared.
Don Welch has won seven poetry prizes in anonymous and open competition, including the Neruda Prize for Poetry, when judged by William Stafford. Among his books of poetry are Dead Horse Table (Windflower Press), The Keeper of Miniature Deer (Juniper Press), Carved by Obadiah Verity (The Press at Colorado College), Inklings (Sandhill Press), Gutter Flowers (Logan House Press), and When Memory Gives Dust a Face (Lewis-Clark Press). Mr. Welch is the former Martin Professor of English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney where he also served as the University’s original Reynolds Chair of Poetry.