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ISSUE:  Spring 2004

Hoping characters ring true,
the master assigns just two words,
war and peace,
for the final class.

In light of tradition,
he examines every stroke,
satisfied our work on war
has nowhere else to turn,

but peace is another story,
looking too much like language
until the quiet Vietnam vet,
a hilltown mechanic,

who still walks point
through the jungle of sleep,
leads the group outside
with his word on a ricepaper kite

and lets the December wind carry it
across the empty sky.


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